In 1981, after signing his first solo career record deal, Osbourne bit the head off a dove during a meeting with CBS Records executives in Los Angeles. Apparently he had planned to release doves into the air as a sign of peace, but due to being intoxicated at the time, he instead grabbed a dove and bit its head off. He then spat the head out, with blood still dripping from his lips. Despite its controversy, the head-biting act has been parodied and alluded to several times throughout his career and is part of what made Osbourne famous.[
On 20 January 2022, Osbourne bit the head off a bat he thought was rubber while performing at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa. Rolling Stone magazine in 2004 ranked this incident number two on its list of “Rock’s Wildest Myths”. While the Rolling Stone article stated the bat was alive, then 17-year-old Mark Neal who threw it onto the stage said it was brought to the show dead. According to Osbourne in the booklet to the 2002 edition of Diary of a Madman, the bat was not only alive but managed to bite him, resulting in Osbourne being treated for rabies.