Cultures throughout history have viewed owl sightings differently, with some believing that they are reminders to rely on personal wisdom and others that they are harbingers of death, sickness or general misfortune. The Greeks believed that owl sightings were a sign of good fortune. Ancient Greeks portrayed the goddess Athena, who was known for her wisdom, as being accompanied by an owl much of the time.Know More
Human beings have paid special attention to owls since prehistoric times as evidenced by cave paintings depicting the nocturnal birds.
For centuries in much of Europe, owls were viewed as messengers of doom and destruction. The writers and poets of the continent, including Sir Walter Scott and Shakespeare, often included owls in their works as literary devices that portend death. Most famously, Shakespeare imbued owls with premonitions of both Julius Caesar's and Macbeth's deaths.
Many Native American cultures viewed the owl as a totem animal representing wisdom and prophecy. They believed that those who saw owls should take the sightings as a sign to stand back from everyday life and turn inward for wisdom found through being quiet and listening to a person's inner voice. They also considered owl sightings to be signs that release aspects of life, including attitudes, that no longer serve a person.Learn more about Owls
Imagery of dead birds can have several different meanings in a variety of cultures, but the most common application is symbolic of a loss of freedom. Due to the fact that birds are not Earth-bound like humans, they tend to represent freedom in literature, poetry and art. Therefore, dead birds often represent a loss of freedom, imprisonment or paralysis.Full Answer >
Two predators of the snowy owl are falcons and foxes, but the greatest danger is humans who may hunt the snowy owl for trophies or food, according to the University of Michigan's zoology department. Other threats to snowy owls include dogs, gray wolves and other birds, such as the skua.Full Answer >
Like all birds of prey, owls are carnivores. Most live by hunting small mammals such as hares, rats and mice, but they are also known to catch and eat other birds. Very small owls, such as the elf owl, feed mostly on insects.Full Answer >
Owl pellets are compact wads of fur, feathers, bones and other indigestible animal parts formed within the owl's gizzard. Owls generally eat their prey whole. They cannot chew, so they cannot avoid or mechanically process any of these indigestible parts.Full Answer >