Many people get swallow tattoos and sparrow tattoos mixed up. If you associate sparrow tattoos with a sailor he may get very upset with you. Many people use them interchangeably but there is a big difference. The majority of the bird tattoos that you see are swallows although many people call them sparrows. Learn the difference before getting the tattoo. The birds themselves are very different. A swallow is a very common species. It has a beautiful blue color, with a long forked tail and curved, pointed wings. Sparrows are small, plump brown-grey birds with short wings. These are very different birds to be confused so easily. You very rarely see true sparrow tattoos. If you do see sparrow tattoos, they are usually expressing some type of religious reference. Paraphrasing Matthew 10:29-31, Do not two sparrows sell for little value? Yet not one will fall to the ground without our Father's knowledge.... Therefore have no fear. Ye are of more value than many sparrows. On the other hand, swallow tattoos are very popular. These are the birds connected to sailors. Swallows tend to stay close to land so when a sailor would see a swallow, he knew that land was close. Another trait of the swallow is to return to the same mating place year after year. Sailors felt swallow tattoos were a charm to make sure they returned back home safely. Swallow tattoos were also a sign of how seasoned a sailor was. New sailors would get their first tattoo after 5,000 miles at sea, then another after the next 5,000 miles. After that nautical star tattoos were used., love
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