With Halloween fast approaching we've been thinking about the darker side of birds (if you need to refer to some of the darker symbols in bird lore, read our post from last year). Did you know that a bird phobia is called ornithophobia? It is defined as an abnormal and irrational fear of birds. The symptoms include: sweating, anxiety, heart palpitations, nausea, and avoidance behavior. The fear usually stems from a negative encounter with the animal, typically in childhood. Incidentally the two common species that begin a person's ornithophobia are pigeons and gulls (and, in our minds, potentially their love for french fries). Famous people who allegedly suffer from this disease were/are: Lucille Ball, Eminem, David Beckham, and Scarlett Johansson. Hypnotism is often prescribed as a cure for this phobia.