Owls And People

Through the ages, owls have been the subjects of myth, folklore, and art. People have used owls in different ways. Snowy owls are a subsistence food for Arctic people. Owl body parts are used by traditional healers in Southeast Asia. They have been revered in some cultures. In ancient Babylon, for example, pregnant women wore protective owl amulets. In many cultures, however, owls have been feared. The Swahili believed owls made children sick. Some Arab cultures believed owls were evil spirits that carried children off. In the twenty-first century, conservationists are working to overcome old superstitions and protect owls threatened by loss of habitat.

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