Ornithophobia, or fear of birds, can take many forms. Some people fear only birds of prey, such as vultures, while others are afraid of household pets like parakeets. Learn more about this animal phobia.
Phobias can develop at any age, although they often develop during childhood. What exactly causes specific phobias is still unclear.
Some potential causes can include:
- Personal experiences. If you had a specific incident or negative experience involving birds, such as being attacked by a bird, you may develop a fear of them.
- Observational learning. If your parents or someone else close to you has ornithophobia, you may learn that fear from them.
- Information learning. Reading or hearing about a negative or dangerous situation involving birds may cause you to fear them.
- Genetics. We all process fear and anxiety differently. Some people may be born with a tendency to be more anxious than others.
SYMPTOMS OF ORNITHOPHOBIA
Psychological symptoms include:
- an overwhelming feeling of anxiety or fear
- an awareness that your fear or anxiety is exaggerated, but being unable to control it
- feeling like you need to escape or run away
- fearing that you’re losing control
Physical symptoms include:
- racing heartbeat
- shaking or trembling
- feeling short of breath
- dry mouth
- pain or tightness in your chest
People with a specific phobia may also take measures to avoid their fear. For example, a person with ornithophobia may choose to avoid going to a local park that’s home to a lot of pigeons or waterfowl.