Let’s face it. Barn owls are pretty scary-looking birds. While they are harmless to humans, and they are quite beneficial when around, their piercing black eyes and skull-like face aren’t doing them any favors.
But if their appearance wasn’t bad enough, their bloodcurdling scream might be enough to make you think twice about sitting alone with one in a dark room.
Seriously. Listen to this one:
Perhaps, in this situation, it doesn’t sound as threatening as it might, since the owl is incapacitated and helpless. But what if you heard this sound while you were wandering around in the woods in the dead of the night?
Surely, you’d think the apocalypse was near and would run for the nearest fallout shelter… Or maybe you’d grab your shotgun and await the approaching zombie horde.
But, if the barn owl’s scream makes you truly afraid, then, it is working as intended. Barn owls are not big animals, but humans are. To them, we are even scarier because we might capture/kill/eat them. Thus, they can shriek loudly to scare us and other hungry predators as far away as possible. In the natural world, looking and acting like a total creep will do you more favors than in the civilized world.
In the end however, they are also pretty cute – especially when you watch them grow up…