The fear of birds is known by the Latin term, Ornithophobia. While many people find these creatures to be beautiful, with their exotic plumage and musical birdsong, others fear them.
The fear of birds is not uncommon, and it stems from the menacing, darker image of some birds of prey. Birds such as ravens are known for their macabre image, and they can frighten those who suffer from Ornithophonia.
Many birds, such a vultures, are potent symbols of death. From large gulls that amass in the skies and swoop down suddenly, to falcons, with their predatory eyes, some birds can cause fear and anxiety in human beings.
Symptoms Of Fear of Birds
The fear of birds has been well-documented in films and verse. The phobia itself causes heart palpitations, sweating, nervousness, and avoidant behavior in those who suffer from Ornithophobia.
Birds can be loud, large, and menacing, and they can demonstrate little fear of humans. In phobic individuals, the sight of a grey sky filled with cawing birds can be terrifying.
Most phobias trigger panic attack symptoms in the afflicted, and this is true of the Ornithophobia as well. Persons who become agitated when birds are near tend to stay away from situations where they will be present.
Nature seems filled with peril for people who suffer from the fear of birds. Even the city can be a frightening place as gulls wait on power lines, and seek out discarded food and bread crumbs from those who enjoy feeding them.
Parks and town squares can be common places where the fear of birds is experienced, and phobic men, women and children will do their best to avoid these locations.
Ornithophobia In Film And Poetry
Here are some examples of Ornithophobia in the world of films and poetry:
Edgar Allen Poe – The Raven –
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore –
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
This famous poem evoked the dark menace, and also the grim, stately beauty of the black raven. Poe is thought to have written The Raven in response to the suffering of his own wife, who was stricken with tuberculosis.
The Raven was believed to symbolize the subconscious mind, and to evoke feelings of pain and misery. The bird in Poe’s verse has a hypnotic stillness and a Gothic grace. Death seems evident in its black form and its unflinching gaze.
The Birds – Alfred Hitchcock – This film is legendary for its cinematic treatment of Ornithophibia. Hitchcock staged a series of scenes featuring gruesome attacks by swarms of gulls and crows.
Lead actress Tippi Hedren was said to be traumatized by the repeated use of live birds in the “attacks” on her character. While character development and plot construction took a backseat to the epic horror of the carefully-staged bird attacks, this film remains a classic today.
Hitchcock created an atmosphere of horror and unease, aided by the frightening sounds and images of angry, bloodthirsty birds.
This movie was adapted from Daphne Du Maurier’s short story, The Birds, published in 1952. The film was released in 1963 and received widespread critical acclaim, as well as box office success.
Treatment of Fear Of Birds
As with many other phobias, psychotherapy, anti-depressants, and hypnotherapy can all be used to treat excessive fear and anxiety. Getting at the root of the phobia is the first step in determining a course of treatment.
If a person suffering from this phobia has had a traumatic interaction with birds, they will need to talk about their fears with a qualified therapist, in order to release tension and gain perspective.
Slowly reintroducing safe, gentle birds into a phobic person’s life can cause a reduction of symptoms.
Fear of Birds Video on the Maury Show
The fear of birds is also referred to as:
- bird phobias
- fear of bird phobia name
- phobia of birds
- how to overcome fear of birds