Do owls attack humans? What To Do If An Owl Attacks You?

Do owls attack humans

Even though they are among the most adored birds in the world, owls can sometimes be eerie and enigmatic. 

More than 150 owl species have been officially recognized, while other sources have the number of owl species in the families Strigidae and Tytonidae at around 220. Except for Antarctica, all continents are home to owls.

It is very challenging to approach an owl since it has three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping, and one for maintaining the eye’s cleanliness and health. 

Due to their camouflage, which enables them to blend into their environment, many owls sleep in the open during the daytime while remaining concealed from view.

However, owls have been known to attack people if they are approached too closely in order to protect their young, their partners, or their territory. 

And In This article, we’ll discuss the potential risks posed by various owl species to people and the appropriate safety measures.

So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Do Owls Attack Humans?

Any human who an owl considers to be a threat to its eggs, mate, or even their hunting grounds will undoubtedly be attacked. 

Like other birds, owls are fiercely loyal to their partners, young, and territories. However, unlike most animals, owls are not generally capable of feeling fear.

This implies that despite their competitors’ immense stature, they rarely feel scared by them. 

Owing to owls’ broad cheeks and large eyes. Because of this, humans instinctively perceive owls as kind, lovable creatures who are less hazardous because their facial features mirror those of a young child.

How Do Owls React To Humans?

Owls will avoid people and will respond by taking off quickly. Due to their excellent camouflage, owls are among the most secretive animals that humans encounter.

They only act aggressively in response to threats or when someone comes too close to their nest or young. 

They are quite good at remembering who their allies and enemies are. 

What To Do If An Owl Attacks You?

Because an owl assault typically occurs so quickly, stopping one can be challenging. Before you realize what hit you, the owl will probably be flying away. 

You might not hear it coming or see it coming. Avoid being alone at night, especially in rural locations, as this is the best defense against owl attacks.

  • Be aware of your surroundings: As you look up at the trees, pay great attention to the sound of owls hooting.
  • Headgear is recommended: You can shield your head from an owl’s knifelike talons by wearing a bike helmet or even just a basic ball cap, or you can carry an umbrella.
  • If you are being attacked by an owl, don’t remain still and take it; flail your arms and make noise. To try to scare the owl away, jump around, wave your arms, and make as much noise as you can.
  • Protecting your head should be your top priority if you notice an owl swooping toward you.

How Often Do Owls Attack Humans?

Except for the diurnal owl species, most owl species are awake at different times from us and do not prefer metropolitan environments. 

An owl doesn’t like to be anywhere people are moving about, driving, or camping since they hunt in complete silence. 

Innocent joggers and hikers are frequent targets and the attacks by owls seldom result in fatalities, and victims frequently flee without being hurt.

Do Owls Attack and Eat Human Eyes?

Owls will actively attack anything or anyone they perceive as a threat approaching their nest. 

Owls mainly aim for the head part of the human body. And it has been seen that owls have removed and fed on a human eye in a number of reported instances.

Do Barred Owls Attack, Humans?

The barred owls have a difficult time demonstrating just how ferocious these raptors can be when protecting their nests. 

In addition to sprained ankles and shin splits, runners have also suffered from dive-bombing by barred owls in Oregon’s 90-acre Bush Pasture Park since January, according to a report. 

There have already been four reports of the stocky raptors attacking joggers in this area as they approached their nest and young ones. 

Do Great Horned Owls Attack Humans? 

The most hazardous owl species is the great horned owl, commonly referred to as the “tiger of the sky.” 

The great horned owl has a wingspan of about 5 feet and a strong grip that allows it to kill prey that is bigger than it. Great-horned owls may attack cats, dogs, people, and any other predators without hesitation if their nest is in danger or their territory is invaded.

Do Eastern Screech Owls Attack Humans?

When defending their nests and territories, the eastern screech owls, like all other owl species, can be dangerous. 

These little owls are renowned for their amazing maneuverability and bat-like flight. Attacks on people are less frequent, and because screech owls are small, they cannot inflict major harm.

Can Owls Kill Humans? 

All species of owls have a history of attacking humans to protect their young, their partners, or their territories. 

Unaware hikers and joggers who unintentionally approach their nests or habitats are frequent targets. 


The above information should help you make good decisions about when you should take extra care when walking in the woods and when you can relax. 

We also hope that some of the myths you might have believed have been cleared up. 

However, please remember that any wild animal, including a cute owl perched on a branch, is inherently dangerous and potentially deadly.

Thanks for reading! 

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