Medical Definition of Ornithophobia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ornithophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of birds. Sufferers from ornithophobia experience undue anxiety about encountering and even being attacked by birds although they may realize their fears are quite irrational.

Ornithophobia was epitomized in a 1963 film scripted by the novelist Daphne Du Maurier and the detective story writer Evan Hunter and directed by the inimicable Alfred Hitchcock -- The Birds. Birds suddenly start attacking people in ever-greater numbers and ever-greater viciousness in this memorable and very frightening movie.

The word "ornithophobia" is derived from the Greek and "ornithos" (bird) and "phobos" (fear).

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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