Owls are generally seen as elusive creatures of the night, so when you encounter one during the day, it can be quite an alarming surprise, even in areas where they are known to thrive.

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Recently, while walking in the woods near my home on a cloudy day, a large barred owl suddenly flew past and perched in the tree canopy above. It was close enough for us to make eye contact, which took me completely by surprise. The sudden encounter startled me so much that I nearly lost my footing and almost slid into the creek.

I know, I know: pics or it didn't happen. But here's the catch, owls blend into their surroundings even in broad daylight. So, unfortunately, pics didn't happen.

Standing there in the presence of this mysterious creature, I couldn't help but wonder about all that owls seem to reflect in our myths, stories and culture.

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What Does It Mean When You Encounter an Owl?
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What Does It Mean When You See an Owl During the Day?

In an interview with Parade, animal communicator and evidential medium Nancy Mello points out that given owls' ability to have a unique perspective on the world—high up in trees with near 270-degree night vision—it should be a reminder to "closely examine all that is happening in our lives." So stop where you are, take a breath and observe your surroundings. Given our fast-paced social media-driven lives, that's probably some good advice.

What Does It Mean When You Encounter an Owl?
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What Does It Mean When You See an Owl in Your Dreams?

Similarly, seeing an owl in your dreams could signify that it's figuratively time to open your eyes. Astrologer Stephanie Gailing emphasizes that "seeing an owl in your dreams can be an invitation to use your skills to uncover what's hidden." So, if you hear a hoot while snoozing, why not take it as a reminder to take a fresh look at what is going on around you? Maybe a new hobby, a new job, or a new direction in life should be considered.

What Does It Mean When You Encounter an Owl?
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What Does It Mean When You Hear an Owl at Night?

Other than a reminder that you have a healthy owl population (and a rodent population under control) in your general vicinity, some think that hearing an owl under the veil of darkness should assure you that you are protected. As mentioned earlier, owls are seen a "seeing all" given their special talents, which means that you are being watched over. Center Spirited explains: "Some cultures believe that one is being shielded from any negative energy that might come their way."

Whether you believe that a chance encounter with one of these incredible creatures is akin to being watched over by loved ones long gone, or just a precious moment to observe the wonders of nature, it seems the most important thing to remember is to take advantage of the moment and fully experience it.

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