Are Owls Bad Luck? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Owls are not bad luck, but they’ve long been historically associated with bad fortune and even death.

According to legend, anyone who hears an owl hoot three times will be cursed

Another one believes that the only animals capable of coexisting with ghosts are owls.

Unfortunately, many people are still disturbed by an owl’s call, like the people who believe an owl cries to be made by the souls of those who died long ago.

Well, there are a lot of myths, beliefs, and superstitions regarding owls. For example, there’s a belief that hearing an owl call near a newborn baby’s home would cause the infant to die or turn into a witch.  

Some people used to believe that an owl landing on a house’s roof was a guaranteed omen that one of the house’s occupants would die soon.

Is Seeing Owls Good Luck?

Are Owls Bad Luck

There are several owl superstitions all around the world. They’ve been passed down from generation to generation.

For example, some people believe that seeing an owl is a sign of good luck, while some also think they’re bad luck.

Most of the common myths surrounding owls differ by culture, and not all of them are good. 

Owls are seen to be protective spirits who represent fury and bravery in some cultures. Owls can provide direction or represent exceptional insight and intuition.

These birds may promise prosperity or positive transformation, or they may warn of peril that may be overcome.

Owls are even considered messengers of the gods or conduits to the spiritual world in some civilizations.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on how owls see at night

What Omen Does An Owl Represent?

Throughout history and across cultures, the omen of the owl has been interpreted in various ways.

On the other hand, the owl is seen to bring happiness, money, health, and love in many civilizations.

In addition, owls are connected with knowledge, magic, and heightened sexuality in many cultures.

Because of their link with witches and warlocks, owls are frequently associated with death in mythology.

Owls can signify protection from evil forces or ill luck because they were thought to have magical powers in some cultures, such as the ability to look into both realms (the living and the dead) at the same time!

Is It Good To Have Owls At Home?

Owls are wild animals that are nearly challenging to manage in a conventional residential environment.

However, owls are among the best-adapted wild raptors on the planet.

They have fringed and serrated feathers, which enables them to fly silently without any sound.

In addition, they may attack prey without making much noise. 

These are animals that are used to hunting and killing prey and won’t change that instinct.

Like many raptor hunters, this bird hunts and lives primarily alone, and it lacks the flock instinct that makes some birds, such as parrots, such good pets.

Because it goes against their progressive nature, owls do not tolerate cuddling or frequent contact with people.

Their razor-sharp talons aren’t meant for perching on your shoulder; they’re made for piercing and cutting.

There are a few inevitable reasons why keeping an owl as a pet is a bad idea.

  • They are Carnivorous

Keeping an owl as a pet requires you to feed it fresh meat every day.

Owls are stringent meat-eaters, and providing raw meat to an animal is a difficult undertaking.

This isn’t a critter that eats hamburgers or steaks—owls only eat whole animals from commercial sources, such as rodents. 

And owls have a reputation for being messy eaters.

The eating procedure entails shredding prey in order to consume small portions, and this mess must be cleaned up after each meal.

Owls use their hearing and vision for hunting tiny rodents in the wild.

Many owls have different ear openings on their heads, allowing the brain to construct a three-dimensional aural picture of their environment.

Even in your home, they will mimic that hunting urge and eat fiercely.

An owl’s tendency to sink sharp claws into any food source, including a human hand providing the meal, makes it deadly to those who aren’t experienced or skillful.

  • Owls require a lot of space

Owls require a large amount of area. A tiny cage in the living room corner is simply insufficient.

A large aviary will be required, and it must be built with durable wire because the animal’s sharp talon will damage the wooden enclosure.

Owls need to bathe frequently because their feathers become caked with dust and filth.

Soiled wings allow the bird’s feathers to whistle as it’s flying, alerting potential prey animals to the owl’s existence.

The owl’s natural bathing instinct helps to keep its feathers clean, which helps keep it quiet. A big bath pan is required for captive owls, and it must be cleaned and replenished frequently. 

  • Owls Are Nocturnal Animals

In other words, owls are creatures that only come out to play or hunt when pitch black outside.

Owls, unlike other birds, are active at night and especially during the breeding season, when they produce a lot of noise.

They make a lot of noise while they’re communicating and mating, and they’re especially bothersome at night when they’re most active.

It’s unlikely that having an outdoor aviary full of hooting great horned owls throughout October will win you any friends among your neighbors.

  • Owls Leave Traces of Their Existence

Owls do a lot of pooping. As a result, they leave crap all over the place. Like parrots, owls are carnivores.

Therefore their faeces smell and contain waste from digested meat. Also, owls excrete pellets that contain the undigested bones and feathers from the animals they just ate. 

The owl is one of the messiest birds.

Raising an owl as a pet requires constant cleaning of faeces, regurgitated pellets, feathers, and other waste from the aviary’s floor.

Having an owl as a pet makes having a huge parrot look like a hassle.  

Also check out this article I wrote on why owls sleep during the day

Do Owls Have A Spiritual Meaning?

The spiritual significance of owls varies from culture to culture.

Owl meanings and symbols include knowledge, intuition, supernatural power, and the ability to think for oneself as well as pay attention while others are speaking or acting.

Native Americans believed that Owls held a special place in American Indian tradition, foretelling both good and bad spiritual events.

The owl’s significance and legends vary greatly among the many indigenous peoples.

Typically, owl myths included elements of death, rebirth, and transformation.

Owls have long been associated with omens, psychic messages, and shapeshifters, and they symbolize the enigmatic spiritual realm beyond the darkness’s cover. 

In Christianity, the owl was a symbol for what was hidden in the shadows. As a metaphor for prophetic visions and the unknown future.

Many people had the belief that witnessing an owl was a bad omen, portending doom and gloom in the future. 

In Chinese philosophy, owls are revered as a yang sign because of their protective, smart, and wise nature.

It’s a favorable omen for good fortune and increasing wealth, and it also serves to ward off evil spirits from home. 

The owl symbol in feng shui can help you get more information and intuitive perception.

Still, if you position it in a calm environment like a meditation or yoga studio, its power can be overpowering.

It works best in situations where you’ll be doing a lot of thinking, like an office or a place where you work.

In The Celtic, the owl is portrayed as a warrior and a guardian of honor in symbolism and tradition.

The Celtics believed that the owl warrior’s wisdom granted him access to the route to the underworld.

Because of this, they took it to represent an outspoken protector of integrity who will stop at nothing to protect the honor and the truth at all costs.

Who Do Owls Symbolize In Christianity?

The owl is a typical nighttime bird, yet it is considered unclean by Jews, and as a result, Jewish people do not eat owls.

In the Bible and other writings, many of these animals can be found in Israel.

In the Bible, owls symbolize desolation, destruction, suffering, and loneliness since they are often seen in regions that have been left in ruins. 

What Does It Mean Seeing an Owl at Night?

It’s a good sign if it implies the owl is acting like himself.

Except for a few species found in the extreme north, owls are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night and rest during the day.

So when it’s pitch black outside, an owl can see just like you and I can on a clear sunny day.

By hunting at night, the owl avoids competition with other nocturnal predators and has first dibs on the prey that is also active at night.

Some Native American tribes, on the other hand, thought that this nocturnal bird accompanied the deceased as they made their way to the afterlife.

This is why hearing an owl’s cry was a poor omen, if not a bad sign.

They’d warn the children to be good and stay inside at night, lest an owl comes and take them away. 

What Does It Mean If You Kill an Owl?

Killing an owl has a different meaning.

The Kwakiutl people believe owls are people’s souls and shouldn’t be harmed because if the owl were killed, the person whose soul the owl carried would also die.

While in America, killing any bird of prey like hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, and kites is illegal.

These birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Protection Act, a federal law that bans shooting, poisoning, hunting, trapping, caging, or killing them.

Are White Owls Bad Luck

People and cultures throughout the world think that seeing a white owl is bad luck and a warning of bad things to come.

However, a white owl does not symbolize death in the strictest sense; rather, it represents the spiritual importance of death.

Therefore, a white owl is not necessarily a bad omen, although seeing one can be perceived negatively by those reluctant to change.


Owls are not bad luck, but people and different cultures have tagged their beliefs with these animals over the years.

Most people are afraid of these animals because of how creepy their stare seems. Owls are nocturnal and mostly seen at night.

The darkness brings out the glow in their eyes, making it mysterious to anyone that sees them.

Most superstitions about these birds are from the native tribes in the world.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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