what type of bird is an owl

Hinduism The

An owl is the Hindu goddess Lakshmi’s vahana, or mount, particularly in eastern India. [67] Owls are regarded as a representation of fortune, wealth, prosperity, knowledge, and good fortune. This explains why Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, wealth, and fortune, is often pictured with owls.

However, in Hinduism, owls are also connected to bad times. Chamunda, the fearsome form of Chandi, is sometimes seen sitting on an owl, which is her vahana (mount or vehicle). Hindus believe that owls are messengers of death. [68][better source needed].

Sumerian and ancient Semitic cultures

A symbol of Lilith in Sumerian, Akkadian, and Babylonian culture, the owl [60] Isaiah 34:14 in the Bible also makes reference to this (in certain translations) [61].

Native American cultures

When people tell misbehaving children, “the owls will get you,” they frequently alludes to the owl’s reputation as supernatural danger bearers[69]. Additionally, owls are typically associated with death in Native American folklore.

The Apache and Seminole tribes claim that hearing owls hoot is the basis for many “bogeyman” tales that tell kids to stay inside at night or not to cry too much for fear that the owl will take them away. [70][71] According to certain indigenous myths, owls are connected to ghosts of the dead, and the bony rings surrounding an owl’s eyes are thought to be the fingernails of spectral humans. Owls are sometimes reported to convey messages from the afterlife or to send paranormal alerts to individuals who have violated cultural taboos. [72].

Along with other indigenous people of Mesoamerica, the Aztecs and Maya saw the owl as a representation of death and ruin. In actuality, owls were frequently used to represent Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztec god of death. [73] A long-standing proverb in Mexico reads, “Cuando el tecolote canta, el indio muere” (Spanish for “When the owl cries/sings, the Indian dies”). Owls are described as messengers of Xibalba, the Mayan “Place of Fright,” in the religious book Popol Vuh. [75].

The Wisconsin Hočągara (Winnebago) people also hold the belief that owls are messengers and harbingers of evil forces. [76] An owl appeared to the Hočągara in human form after they had sinned in the past by killing enemies inside the chiefs lodge’s sanctuary, telling them, “From now on, the Hočągara will have no luck.” This signaled the start of their tribe’s decline. [77] Glory of the Morning, the only female chief of the Hočąk nation, saw an owl and heard her name spoken. Soon after, she died. [78][79].

The Hopi, a Uto-Aztec tribe, have taboos around owls because they are connected to sorcery and other evils. [citation needed].

For the Ojibwe tribe and their Aboriginal Canadian counterparts, the owl represented both death and evil. Furthermore, they utilized owls as a representation of the extremely high status of spiritual leaders in their religion. [80].

Owls were seen by the Pawnee tribes as a sign of safety from any threats within their territories. [80].

The Puebloan people connected owls to Skeleton Man, the fertility spirit and god of death. [80].

The Yakama tribes utilize owls as totems to help them determine the best places and ways to manage forests and other natural resources. [80].


What kind of bird is an owl?

Owls are classed as mainly nocturnal (active at night) birds belonging to the order Strigiformes, a group that is most closely related to nightjars (Caprimulgiformes).

Are owls part of the Raptor family?

The word “raptor” means “to seize or grasp” in Latin. Raptors use their powerful, sharp talons to capture their prey and to defend themselves. Several bird species are considered raptors. Eagles, hawks, kites, falcons, and owls are all considered raptors.

Is an owl a type of Hawk?

We have long understood that owls are not related to hawks, but they’re usually considered to be raptors anyway because they have such clearly predatory lifestyles. Presumably the same would apply to falcons.

Is an owl considered a songbird?

Songs. Although the Barred Owl is not technically a songbird, its distinctive “Who cooks for you?” call (see below) functions as a song.