Do Owls Feel Depressed In The Wild? Emotions of Wise Creature



  • Owls can feel depressed in the wild but their depression is not similar to humans.
  • Loneliness or the death of a mate is a cause of depression in owls.
  • Some common signs of stress in owls include increased heart rate, panting, aggressiveness, and vocal or visual cues.

Owls are intriguing creatures that have long been associated with wisdom and mystery. However, most people are concerned about the mental well-being of owls in the wild.

It is a commonly asked question: “do owls feel depressed in the wild?” Some experts have even suggested that owls may suffer from depression. If owls suffer from depression, it is important to understand the causes and develop ways.

In this article, we will discuss whether owls get depressed and what are the possible causes of depression in them.

Do Owls Feel Depressed In The Wild? Not Similar to Human

Depression is a complex mental illness that can be difficult to understand. However, some signs can indicate whether an animal is depressed.

For example, a depressed animal may lose interest in food and display a reduced desire to socialize.

Owls are solitary creatures that typically only come together to mate, so they do not form the same kinds of social bonds that humans do. Their diet consists mostly of small mammals, so they are not as likely to experience food insecurity or malnutrition, which can trigger depressive symptoms in humans.

Owls are known to mate for life, and if their mate dies, they may mourn for extended periods. This behavior is similar to what we see in humans who experience grief and depression after losing a loved one.

Owls mate for life and feel depressed on death of mate

In addition, owls have been known to experience extreme stress when they are captured and kept in captivity. This stress can lead to self-harm and even death in some cases.

All of these evidence suggests that owls are capable of experiencing depression, although more research is needed to confirm this.

Depression is a complex emotion that is influenced by many factors, including biology, psychology, and society.

  • Owls do not have the same complex brains as humans, so it is unlikely that they experience the same emotions as we do.
  • Owls do not live in the same complex social structures as humans. They do not have families or friends in the way that we do, and they do not live in close-knit communities.
  • Finally, owls are not influenced by the same cultural factors as humans. They do not watch television or read newspapers and are not exposed to the same stressors as humans.

So, owls can get depressed but their depression is not similar to humans.

Causes of Depression in Owls – 2 Leading Causes

There are some prominent causes of depression in owls. The most common is continuous stress due to the environment or predator.

Loneliness or the death of a mate may sometimes cause depression in owls. Prolonged stress and anxiety lead an owl to depressive behavior.

Similarly, if an owl is kept in captivity, it shows aggressive behavior. So, whenever you see or read about owls then, don’t forget owls have feelings.

Do Owls Get Lonely? Loneliness May Lead To Depression

In the animal kingdom, it is not uncommon for species to form close bonds with others of their kind.

Whether a mother and her offspring, a pair of mates, or simply two animals that have become friends, these bonds can offer emotional support and make life more enjoyable.

Owls are solitary creatures by nature, so it is not surprising that they often feel most comfortable when they are alone.

Owls are solitary birds - Do owls feel depressed in the wild

Owls are not capable of expressing their emotions in the same way humans do.

However, much research has shown that barn owls are prosocial. Preening and food sharing between siblings have been discovered. That means owls can experience something similar to loneliness, especially when they are deprived of social interaction.

In fact, owls have been known to form close bonds with other owls and humans. So, while owls may not get lonely in the same way that humans do, it is still possible for them to feel lonely at times.

Do Owls Get Stressed? Stress Causes Depression

Owls are sometimes seen as calm and serene creatures. But do they experience stress? Like all animals, it turns out that owls can experience stress under certain circumstances.

For example, if an owl is in captivity and not allowed to hunt or fly, it can become stressed. Similarly, owls that are sick or injured may also experience stress.

The research published in behavioral ecology states that heritable eumelanic plumage coloration in barn owls is an adaptation to cope with stress. The owl feels stress in the presence of predators and camouflages themselves in the environment. This behavior is considered a response to stress.

Owls can get stressed when there will be nutritional changes. As a result, they become weak.

There is little research on stress in owls, but what we know suggests that these Birds of Prey experience stress.

Owls are very sensitive to changes in their environment and can be easily disturbed by noise or other animals. Due to urbanization, the owl population is decreasing due to noise. The noise is leading them to stress, which can, in turn, affect their hunting, eating, and sleeping habits.

While we don’t know a lot about stress in owls, it’s clear that these creatures can be easily affected by changes in their environment. This is something to keep in mind if you’re planning on keeping an owl as a pet.

What Do Owls Do When Stressed? Stressful Owls

Some common signs of stress in owls include increased heart rate, panting, and aggressiveness. Vocal and visual cues inform about the stress in the owls.

Similarly, stiff body posture, erect feathers, staring, rapid changes in pupil size and twittering noises are some other signs mentioned by Jemima Parry-Jones.

Signs of stress in the owls

International Owl Centre have shown the stressed owls and other emotions in them through their facial expression. You can see the stressed or relaxed owls in the photographs.

If you see any of these signs in an owl, it’s important to seek help from a qualified professional.

While owls can experience stress, it’s important to remember that they are tough and resilient creatures. With the right care and support, they can overcome stress and live long and healthy lives.

What Do Owls Do When Scared?

If you’re like most people, you probably think of owls as being wise and calm creatures. But what happens when an owl gets scared?

When an owl is scared, it will usually freeze in place or try to hide. If it’s unable to do either of those things, it will try to defend itself by attacking its attacker.

Owls have sharp talons and beaks that they can use to hurt their adversaries. Remember, the owl is not always as calm as it appears to be.


Owls are fascinating creatures, and it is natural to wonder if they experience emotions as we do. While we do not know for sure if owls have feelings, evidence suggests that they may be capable of experiencing a range of emotions, from joy to sadness.

Through observational studies, it has been proved that owls may get stressed or depressed.

What do you think? Do owls feel depressed in the wild? If you have an opinion on this topic, please share it in the comments section below.


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