NJ Bird Walk Leader Makes Passion Permanent With Cardinal Tattoo

Liana Romano, a dementia-care specialist and speech-language pathologist, leads bird-watching field trips in her free time.

Bird lover Liana Romano shows off the cardinal tattoo on her arm.
Bird lover Liana Romano shows off her cardinal tattoo, courtesy of Silk City Tattoo in Hawthorne. Photo by Ron Wyatt

Liana Romano has made her love of birds permanent. 

The dementia-care specialist and speech-language pathologist—who, in her free time, volunteers with the Bergen County Audubon Society—got inked with a striking red cardinal tattoo in 2020. 

But just like birders never know what species they’ll find when they head out with their binoculars, Romano, 44, didn’t know exactly what type of ink she’d end up getting when she arrived at Silk City Tattoo in Hawthorne. “I knew I wanted the feather,” says the Hawthorne resident. “I wanted something to represent me, my love of birds and nature.”

[RELATEDBeautiful Spots to See Birds Migrating Through New Jersey This Spring]

She imagined a bird that would match her self-described bright-and-cheery type-A personality, and one that would also be easily recognizable. A cardinal fit the bill. “Everyone can relate to it,” she says of the red male cardinal perched on a branch. “They’ll bring up stories about their family, like, ‘Oh, it reminds me of so-and-so.’”

Romano’s patients at CareOne at the Cupola in Paramus love it, too. “I work with people with Alzheimer’s disease,” she says. “It’s like a surprise.”

Romano, who has led field trips with the Audubon Society for the past few years, is on the lookout for the avian subject of her next tattoo. In the meantime, she finds inspiration at the Meadowlands. “There’s so much variety,” she says. “You have ducks, raptors, songbirds. It’s this kind of magical place.” 

This spring, New Jerseyans are lucky to have the opportunity to see birds migrating north across the state. Residents can hit up one of the state’s four county-level National Audubon Society chapters, including the one in Bergen County, for free, public walks in birding hotspots.

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