Ornithophobia

Fear of Birds

Causes

Ornithophobia often stems from traumatic experiences with birds in childhood. Birds often aggressively defend their young or their food, and this leads to attacking humans.

Folklore

Birds often symbolize death or bad luck in folklore. Some psychologists have theorized that this may lead to ornithophobia.

Symptoms

When encountering birds, may experience crying, shaking, or freezing in place. Sufferers may even flee from anticipated bird encounters.
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Treatments

Relaxation techniques or behavior replacement therapy can help. Gradual exposure to birds (exposure therapy) can also be beneficial.

Celebrity Sufferers

Scarlett Johansson (an actor), has always been afraid of birds. She had to deal with peacocks in the popular movie “We Bought a Zoo.” Niall Horan, one of the singers in One Direction, was attacked by pigeon as a child and now is afraid of all birds, specifically pigeons.

Works Consulted