Birds in general are widely requested images for use in body art designs however each species offers a great deal of variety in both aesthetic and symbolic value plus they make really cool tattoos that are sure to attract attention for all the right reasons. Many tattoo enthusiasts who opt for designs of this nature do so for two main reasons. First and foremost this is often because the individual relates to the symbolism or attributes of that specific creature and secondly because they feel an affinity with it or simply like that animal. One of the more unusual bird designs is the magpie tattoo because while this is commonly spotted in gardens around the country it is not one of the more popular birds as many associate it with negative rather than positive connotations.
Magpies are a member of the same family as the crow and these can be found predominantly in Southern Europe and the United Kingdom however you are unlikely to find any beyond the Iberian peninsula. It is deemed to be one of the most intelligent birds on this continent and it is believed that a magpie has the ability to recognize its own reflection in a mirror. However magpies are very territorial and have a reputation as an aggressor towards other species of bird. As body art, the magpie tattoo is more often depicted in its most recognizable form with its black and white plumage however there are some distant relatives of this species that can be found in South East Asia. These have more vivid coloration that make for brighter more vibrant tattoo images and including bright blue and green feathers in their plumage.
The magpie is also renowned for its obsession with collecting shiny things and has a reputation as a bit of a kleptomaniac so a magpie tattoo could therefore be used as a reminder of the human desire to fill our lives with material possessions in our pursuit of happiness. A tattoo of this kind reminds us that this is actually quite irrelevant in the wide scheme of things and we do not actually need most of these things to feel complete. This image offers other meanings too and is quite diverse in symbolism offering positive traits such as intellect, perception, communication and refinement. However the magpie as a body art image could also indicate a flashy or deceptive individual who gives an illusion of being one thing but is actually something else entirely. On a more positive note the Chinese believe that the magpie symbolizes happiness and the sound of a magpie singing is a symbol of good fortune and luck to follow. There are many myths and legends in that part of the world that feature this bird and certain civilizations considered the magpie to be sacred, in particular the Manchu region in the north of China. In ancient times, several European cultures also associated the magpie with magical powers as they believed this bird possessed the gift of divination and had the ability to predict the future. This is another element of the magpie that could be conveyed in body art designs of this image.