Owls are among the most frequently tattooed birds, possibly animals as a whole. Their popularity among tattoo enthusiasts is often attributed to their striking appearance and the symbolism their carry in folklore. Owls belong to the Strigiformes order of birds and are classified by their upright stance, broad heads, sharp talons and feathers adapted for silent flight.
In the owl species, there are two families that the birds are split between: true owls and barn owls. There are many different breeds of owls found all over the world, notably the snowy owl, the great horned owl, barn owl and screech owl. Owls have evolved to take on many different habitats, including deserts, arctic tundra and forests. They can be found throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Africa and Asia depending on the breed.
Depending on where you are in the world, owls take on different cultural symbolism. For instance, in the Western world many cultures associate owls with wisdom and vigilance. However, in many Native American tribes they're regarded as bearers of supernatural danger and a symbol of death.
To see some of our favorite owl tattoos, check out the work of talented artists around the world in the gallery below. Then let us know your thoughts on these tattoos in the comments section on social media.