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Ornithophobia From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Gulls may at times acquire food from humans through theft, and this may trigger a bird phobia in some people.

Ornithophobia is a type of specific phobia, which is an abnormal and irrational fear of birds. The origin of the word ornitho is Greek (meaning bird) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear). The fear of birds is not uncommon, and it stems from the menacing, darker image of some birds of prey. Some people may only fear predatory birds, such as vultures, while others will even be afraid of household pets in the likes of budgies.[1]

Sufferers of this phobia might fear that they will be attacked by a bird or may simply be uncomfortable around them. They would usually fear their fluttering wings, the way they move, the way they fearlessly fly towards people hoping for food, the texture of feathers, the fear of disease or any combination of these. Birds can also beloud, large and menacing, and they can demonstrate little fear of humans.[2]

The phobia itself causes heart palpitations, sweating, nervousness, and avoidance behavior in those who suffer from Ornithophobia. Without treatment the phobia can become life-limiting. The fear of birds has been well-documented in films and poetry.

In popular culture

  • Alfred Hitchcock's horror film The Birds is often used as an example of ornithophobia. Although in the film, the birds do attack humans, so it is rational for the humans to be afraid of the birds. Hitchcock created an atmosphere of horror and unease, aided by the frightening sounds and images of angry, bloodthirsty birds. Lead actress Tippi Hedren was said to be traumatized by the repeated use of live birds in the “attacks” on her character.
  • Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, a poem evoked the dark menace, and also the grim, stately beauty of the black raven. Poe is thought to have written this in response to the suffering of his own wife, who was stricken with tuberculosis.
  • Lulu from True Jackson VP is somewhat afraid of birds, making her ornithophobic. As she mentions to True in one episode, "They give me the creeps, but I'm not sure why." In another episode, Lulu freaks out when a bird lands on her head.
  • Green from the Pokemon Adventures manga is afraid of birds, as a result of being kidnapped by one when she was little.
  • Randy on My Name is Earl is afraid of birds. In one episode Earl tries to help Randy overcome it.
  • Shale from Dragon Age suffers from a fear of birds. The golem often comments on "crushing the vile feathery fiends" and shows disgust when Shale and Alistar have a conversation about eating chickens.
  • Mitchell Pritchett from Modern Family is afraid of birds, as seen in the season one finale "Family Portrait" and the season two premiere "The Old Wagon" and the season three premiere "Dude Ranch."
  • GLaDOS from Portal develops a severe phobia of birds after almost being eaten by one in Portal 2 while stuck in a potato battery.
  • Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory lists the condition as one of his phobias and even discusses the issue with a small child named Rebecca who shares the condition in the 13th episode of the second season entitled "The Friendship Algorithm". In Season 5, Episode 9, "The Ornithophobia Diffusion", the episode's Sheldon plot centred around his confronting and eventual overcoming of this condition.

[edit]Celebrities with the phobia

  • Lucille Ball, an American actress, is so afraid of birds that she once had a $90 per roll wallpaper removed from her home when she discovered that the print contained shadowy images of small birds.
  • Eminem, who is afraid of owls [4]
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