Owls - Interestingly Different

An owl is the bird most of us have only heard of it, but not knowing how it lives.In beliefs, one culture considers owls as bad, while another one considers them good, and even in the same culture but different eras can have different beliefs. Let's find out how!

Interesting Facts

  • A bird of prey, like falcons and eagles, but just is nocturnal, with sharp talons and a curved hooked beak.

  • Preys on small animals, such as rats/mice, snakes, amphibians, and for larger species of owls, fish and crabs.

  • We can find its spew below its nest, because it eats a prey as a whole, it then spew those indigestible bones and hairs.

  • Hunting at night, it has an extraordinary vision, with larger eyes than an eagle. Both its eyes are front-facing. It has 100 times better sight than us human.

  • It also has a remarkable hearing, and soft feathers able to fly that quiet... to the prey.

  • It can rotate its head up to 270 degree due to its 14-piece of neck backbones, more than any other creatures.

There are about 200 species of owls, inhabiting all over the world, except only polar regions. However, at least six species are critically endangered, 7 are endangered, and over 19 are vulnerable! And you can guess, these are beautiful ones.

Beliefs

The beliefs for owls are differ from cultures to cultures, and times to times. Mostly, old ones say evil, for example:

  • The Thai, especially people in old times, are haunted by owls like a kid scared of a ghost, because not only that it hunts at night, but also its voices and calls seems like a ghost or a witch.

  • The Roman and Romanian believe that owls is a messenger of death. If found in town, they have to kill them immediately, or all the good will fly away with the owls.

  • The Red Indian was convinced that owls relate to the dark magic. Ones who own an owl represents a sorcery.

  • The Aztec, Mayan, and Meso-american symbolised owls as the destruction and death.

However, not a small number of old cultures, and current ones see owls as the character of wisdom, for instance:

  • The Hindu believes that it is the vehicle of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity, the wife and shakti (energy) of Vishnu, a major god in Hinduism.

  • The Ancient Greek trusted that owls, especially small ones, involve with Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war. This has escalated to become an owl's family scientific name of Athene.

  • In Japan, owls are the emblem of happiness and good luck (縁起物 - Engimono), due to the fact that it is called (Fukurou), which can be substituted as 福 (Fuku) meaning "good luck" and (Rou), the auspicious suffix for a boy's name, or as (Fu) of "not", and 苦労 (Kurou) meaning "suffering".Japanese also believes that differences in colours, sizes, and shapes of owls result in different kinds of luck. Moreover, an owl is used as the badge of the Ibaraki prefecture.

  • In English football league, Sheffield Wednesday, the club based in Sheffield, uses an owl as their Badge, and has their nickname "The Owls".

  • And saying of English, we must be condemned if not talking about one of the greatest fantasy novel and film, Harry Potter, that owls are the great companion pet of a wizard, right?

Owls are strong and clever, but cannot flee from dominating human's hunting... for fun.

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Credit (Story & Images)

Cranbook Institute of Science

Galeotti, Paolo; Diego Rubolini. Journal of Avian Biology.

John Hopkins Medicine

The Owl Pages®

The Wiki Encyclopedia

Pottermore from J.K. Rowling

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