In the pine mountains and desert mesas of south-central New Mexico, people of the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation still tell legends of an enormous evil bird: Big Owl. The Jicarilla Apaches, who live along New Mexico's northern edge, also tell tales of Big Owl, seen around the slick rock canyons and bluffs of their reservation; although in their stories Big Owl will often paralyze humans just by staring at them, and afterwards swallows them whole.
Some noted cryptozoologists are convinced that such stories may actually be based on real sightings of an actual undocumented species of a 3-to-5-foot tall giant owl, humorously nicknamed Bighoot.

The Cuban giant owl (Ornimegalonyx oteroi) was an approximately three-foot-tall owl which lived in what is now western Cuba until around 8,000 years ago. In the last couple decades nearly 3 intact skeletons of this bird have been discovered  in Cuban caves. Their size and bone structure suggest that the owl was similar to an over-sized version of the common burrowing owl, with long legs and could only fly for short distances. Theories suggest that maybe some of these giant owls survived extinction, migrated, reproduced, and became part of New Mexico’s Apache oral histories. There are several intriguing points support this. References of giant owls pop up throughout the American and Canadian Indian mythology. The Iroquois once feared what they called Flying Heads; creatures with man sized, bodiless heads with open mouths, covered in ragged hair. These heads could fly in a halting way and were armed with talons, and ate humans. Some theorize that the hair of the Flying Heads was actually feathers and wings of the giant owls. Sightings of giant owls continue into the era of North America’s first European-American settlers. Some settlers saw their livestock carried off by enormous birds they called Booger Owls. Whats more, such sightings have persisted into the present, found in oral histories and urban legends all across America. 

Though owls are usually described as making a hooting sound, sometimes they are said to hum. The Internet is studded with accounts of owls humming in the night, humming country folks to sleep. A more well-known hum in New Mexico is the notorious Taos Hum; reportedly a low pulsing throbbing sound, it torments about 2% of Taos’s population. It causes anxiety, dizziness, headaches, nosebleeds, and insomnia. There are many suggested possible explanations from government projects and aliens to mass hysteria; some wonder if its caused by Big hoot, but in the end the cause of the Taos Hum remains a mystery, much like the legend o Big hoot.