The Top 10 Questions About Owls You Should Know

Owls have always been known as mysterious animals that thrive at night. Established as one of the most intelligent birds on the planet, they can stand from 4 to 27 inches tall and are popularly referred to as the eagles of the dark. Gifted with an exceptional skill set, they prey on mice and various small creatures, making them good pest control accomplices. While some believe that these creatures bear omens or messages regarding a person’s death, they are generally a symbol of intellect, majestic silence, endurance, and wisdom. Often enshrouded by an enigma of secrecy, we’ll tackle a handful of questions about Owls that has kept us up at night for centuries.

Can You Have An Owl As A Pet?

Primarily noted to do well in solitary, owls do not crave the attention of birds from their species, much less humans. Finding these highly intelligent creatures preening each other in the wild like most flocks of birds do is as unlikely as finding a worm in an apple, wherein strengthening social bonds is the least of priorities of predatory birds. The possibility of owls enthusiastically swooping down on you once you enter the door is very slim that if its love and affection you are after, you’ll probably be better off with a parrot, a horse, or a tiger.

Insisting on your whims to own an owl would require you to secure a permit and an enclosure that will be spacious enough for your pet to spread its wings and fly. As an owner, you will need to give careful attention to how those big, round, and yellow eyes work since birds of prey react to the smallest of movements that it may cause critical damage to their face, beak, and wings if they are held in unsuitable enclosures that allow too much discomfort.

Much like most pets, living with an owl can be quite a challenge. They are no doubt intriguing creatures and owning one can be absolutely fascinating. But because predatory birds are an exceptionally specialized group of animals with special needs, aspirants need to understand that there are a bunch of things that should be considered before you tap onto your inner Harry Potter.

Are Owls Evil?

One of the most popular myths about owls is that they are the guardians of the night and they hoot to ward off evil. For countless years, they have been a part of human folklore, often declaring the occurrence of disaster or death. Their uncanny ability to catch prey even at night has prompted humans to fear and associate them with darkness, mystery, and evil. While various societies and cultures see them as a representation of wisdom and vision, prospering after dark developed in them a somewhat air of negativity.

Some of the more common perceptions about Owls include:

Are they a Symbol Of Death

Due to their silent and predatory nature, owls are often associated with negativity and death. Some cultures are convinced that hearing an owl’s hoot indicates death, where the sight of this bird perched on a roof is believed to warn about the demise of someone living there. They are known to be able to see errant spirits which means that places they are repeatedly spotted at are frequented by ghosts or are likely haunted. In Native American bird symbolism, it is perceived that burrowing owls are the god of the dead or the protectors of the underworld.

Are they evil Spirits?

Many cultures consider owls to be undesirable and unclean and a symbol of an evil omen. Typically seen as spies and are associated with shamans and witch doctors, it is believed that placing the bird’s image by the door protects the home from its wicked spirit. Some groups believe that owls carry off children and its sightings during the day are a symbol of an imminent bad omen.

Owls are believed to represent fertility in some cultures and are associated with the Greek goddess Athena, depicting prophecy and wisdom. Although some see these quiet nocturnal birds as a figure of darkness and evil, their presence can either be a woeful omen or a welcome blessing.

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Are Owls Good Luck?

As a spirit guide, owls help us uncover the hidden aspects within ourselves that we find difficult to express. It is known to be a symbol of maturity and strength of character which can serve as our guide in exploring further into our lives. Their presence signifies the awakening of a much deeper knowledge and intuitive wisdom, allowing us to see beyond the illusions of the world, encouraging us to look deep for certain answers and not just accept what we see with our eyes.

Here are a few significant spiritual messages that owls want you to receive when they make their presence significantly obvious to you:

For numerous cultures, the owl meaning is with a bad omen or a departed soul. When they appear in your life, they could probably signify the upcoming death of someone dear to you, a warning of impending danger, or a message about a major transformation about to occur in your life. These birds’ presence does not necessarily mean that you should run and hide. It could all be just a simple reminder that for you to receive the message that it bears, it requires keeping an open heart and a sound mind.

What Animals Eat Owls?

As a mysterious creature that prowls at night, owls catch their prey with the help of the dark. Much like us humans, they need to eat to nourish themselves for energy and to sustain their peculiarity. But wildlife, as we all know, is not a one-way street wherein predators are oftentimes hunted as well. Here’s a quick swoop on which animals include owls in their diet.

Prowling Cats and Foxes

Although it may cost them their own lives, these cunning animals attempt to snatch young owls from their nests. Parent owls are capable of killing such intruders and they protect their youth at all costs, making such an act exceedingly risky.

Eagles, Hawks, And Owls

It may be more due to territorial disputes that these birds turn on each other, but owls that are naturally asleep during the day are literally sitting ducks to the diurnal birds of prey.

Serpents And Pythons

These devious creatures can climb up trees and feast on unsuspecting adult and baby owls, as well as their eggs. Owls may have a keen sense of their surroundings, but the ability of snakes to slither quietly and to blend in on the environment makes them the top owl predator.

Though most of us may not be eating owls, our habits have negatively affected their habitat and population. With less space to move and hunt, their territorial instincts get activated, urging these birds to kill and hunt more, ultimately exposing them to the dangers of the wild.

What Does It Mean When You See A White Owl?

The meaning of a white owl is unique to the different parts and cultures of the world. Traditionally, owls are considered as a symbol of wisdom intelligence but its connotation depends on when, where, and how it was spotted. Most people believe that a white owl is capable of changing its form into that of a human. Their ability to see clearly in the dark signifies their exceptional understanding of the world.

Apart from being associated with the night and the moon, here are a few interpretations of seeing a white owl:

  • Celtic shamans used white owls to serve as their eyes and ears, believing that through these mystical birds, they were able to reach a higher level of knowledge.
  • White owls represent the end of a cycle in Arabic cultures. Spotting them was explained as a sign of transformation or a new beginning.
  • Native Americans nicknamed owls as the night eagle, therefore seeing the white owl as the light in the dark, greatly linking the bird to the moon.

Most people believe that seeing a white owl is a sign that it is time to move forward and be ready to take risks. It signifies that even if challenges abound, it is always wise to let go of your fears and embrace the future and that the white owl will light your path to a better and brighter tomorrow.

Why Are Owls Considered Wise?

Owls have long been considered as the symbol of wisdom. There was a time when owls were more associated with evil and the dark until the Ancient Greeks stepped in and introduced to us the conventional wise owl. Once regarded as malevolent creatures cloaking in the dark and stalking silently, owls were the definition of solitude. The Greeks linked their night vision to a special sight that allows them to predict the future and to serve as the light in the dark, clearing a shroud of obscurity.

They represent rational inner knowledge, describing owls as meditative, reflective, and deeply thoughtful creatures, enabling them to fully understand the situation that they are currently in. Owls are generally quiet and reserved yet very vigilant, allowing their curiosity to lead them to higher knowledge.

Owls rarely move and are known to be some of the most patient birds. They are symbols of inner knowledge and are constantly being observant, engaged in thought. This explains our perception of these birds as wise since they spend most of their time in thought and observation, thus giving them a deeper understanding and wisdom that is all-encompassing.

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Why Do Owls Hoot At Night?

Owls hoot at night primarily to protect their territory from other owls. It is their way to communicate their presence to other creatures, claiming a particular area as theirs. Hoots can also be used to signal the presence of a predator, notifying other owls to stay alert and keep watch. There may be times when mated pairs use it to communicate, engaging in duets to reaffirm their bond. It is believed that male owls can tell the difference between a neighbor’s hoot from a stranger, eventually acting more aggressively towards an unfamiliar bird.

Several cultures, namely the Arabians, Romans, and the Native Americans symbolize an owl’s hoot to be evil or an indication of death. It is only the Greeks who identify these nocturnal birds with their goddess Athena, believing that the eerie sound that owls make at night is a symbol of good fortune.

[Video] Why Do Owls Hoot?

Do Owls Have Ears?

Some owl species that sport ear tufts and got you thinking that those were actual ears have proven how easily they can outsmart you. Those “ears” simply display feathers that illustrate an owl’s mood, much like how a dog wags its tail to signify its feelings. An owl’s real ears are tucked at the sides of its head and are covered by the owl’s feathers of its facial disc.

The owl’s round-shaped face is designed to detect the slightest of sounds, similar to the effect of cupping our hands around our ears and aiming them towards a sound to hear it better. Their ears are 10 times more sensitive than that of humans as it can gather sounds more effectively than we can.

Do Owls Mate For Life?

Typically, owls are very isolated creatures. This affinity all changes at the approach of spring since this is when mating can occur. Courtship is defined by elaborate rituals such as particular hooting patterns, courtship flights, and offerings of food to re-establish their pair bond during mating season. Owls generally mate for life or exceedingly long periods, making their love for isolation a hindrance in finding and landing a partner. They are known as opportunistic nesters, taking over abandoned eagle and hawk nests, living in homes that extend along other pairs’ ranges.

Do Owls Eat Cats?

Owls are birds of prey, meaning that they need to kill to survive. They may prefer smaller rodents for easier transport but we must understand that when the opportunity arises, they wouldn’t think twice about having cats for dinner. Much like a feline, they attack cats by lurking before launching a surprise attack, using their vision and flight to their advantage. The fact that both cats and owls are nocturnal makes the possibility of them crossing paths during a hunt likely, where bigger owls are known to seize, airlift, and feast on their helpless prey. Read also our post: Do Owls Eat Cats?


With the distinction as one of the smartest birds, owls are truly enchanting. Their amazing night vision makes them brilliant hunters that embody patience, wisdom, and intelligence. Admitting that they are at times seen as manifestations of death and evil, these claims to some of the frequently asked questions about owls will hopefully keep our heads from spinning.

In another post, we also compared the owl vs eagle and the owl vs crow.

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