As far as ‘real’ looking bird tattoos, this one should be ranged in the top 25% for sure! The Quetzal tattoo meaning has to do with both what the bird’s name means, as well as the behavior that it exhibits. The Aztec word “quetzalli” translates to ‘precious’ or ‘beautiful’. That is where the name Quetzal comes from…the Aztec word. Now, the tails of the males can reach an awesome length of 24 inches, and of course, that makes this beautiful bird a target for people to capture etc. and it is now listed as an endangered species. But that’s not what the Quetzal tattoo meaning is about…the Quetzal has been found to not deal well with being captured, and has been known for letting itself die if caged. It is this trait that makes it also know for it’s love of freedom and inability to be contained without it’s perishing. It also happens to be the national bird of Guatemala.