In both folklore and modern times, the owl has been considered to be a mysterious creature mostly associated with a bad omen.
But in recent studies of bird behavior, these assertions have been considered false and superstitious.
Owls however are nocturnal birds of prey belonging to the order of Strigiformes which are mostly solitary.
These gorgeous birds hunt mainly small mammals, insects and other birds except for a few which specialize in hunting fish. They are found in every part of the world except the polar ice caps and some remote Islands - chances are you might have encountered one around your vicinity.
Several myths and symbolism have been associated with owls in several civilizations.
Photo: Great-horned owl
Generally, according to bird symbolism the owl is considered a symbol of Paranormal wisdom, regal silence and fierce intelligence.
In Christianity, the owl is considered an unclean Bird( Leviticus 11:16-18) and also used in prophecy to signify the devastation of the people of Babylon( Isaiah 13:21).
Myths and Superstitions Surrounding Owls
Photo: Eastern barn owl
In Africa amongst the Kikuyu of Kenya, the owl is believed to be an harbinger of death. According to this tribe, if one saw an owl he/she was going to die. Sadly, this superstition has portrayed this beautiful bird in a dark nature.
In Japan, the owl is considered to be a bringer of luck and as such people carry talisman bearing them.
Finally, amongst several native American cultures, such as: Aztecs, Maya, Pawnee and Puebloan people, the owl is considered an harbinger of death, a symbol of danger and evil.
All that said, owls are not the evil creatures that they are portrayed to be. When an owl hoots (in a layman language cry) it is for the following reasons:
They Hoot(a vocalization by owls) to communicate amongst one another. Hooting is essential to the socialization of close relatives amongst owls.
Each successive offspring after hatching begins to learn the distinctive sounds or calls of it's parents. When they grow up as juveniles, they begin to practice the unique hooting of their parents, to help socialize amongst their very close relatives.
Since their territories overlap into human residences and are majorly active at night, hence they can be heard at night hooting - which is sometimes wrongly regarded as bad omens especially when they are heard at night close to homes - especially bedrooms.
Photo: two owls fighting over territory
Owls are very territorial birds. Owls unlike other birds do not make nests, they simply claim nests made by other birds. After doing that, they begin to hoot in a loud and aggressive pitch to announce to others their new territory. This is quite important in setting up a perimeter for hunting and to ensure that there is a steady availability of prey to hunt.
Photo: A Kestrel and an owl fighting over territory
This is kind of a screeching sound or a shrieking sounds made by owls during defense of their nests against other raptors. An owl will continue to make this sound till the threat is over. This happens frequently in places where several Owls' territories overlap.
Male owls after properly defending their nests from other intruding males, will make a deep hoot around dusk and expect a female to respond back with higher and louder hoots.
Those who live in homes whose residences overlap owl territories might have experienced these uncanny melody. There is really nothing to worry about, it is simply a mating call.
Kindly drop your opinions on what you think about owls hooting in a nearby vicinity and don't forget to follow phenomenalcreator for more info on wildlife.
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