||It's hard to pick a favorite type of owl, but this marsh owl is pretty darn cute. Photo by Arno Meintjes via Wikimedia.
What is it with owls? We loved The Owl and the Pussycat (although I have yet to personally meet a sea-going owl), we loved them in the 1970s, we loved them in Harry Potter, and we love them today. Maybe it's because we all need a little more wisdom in our lives. So here are some fun facts to make you wiser about owls:
- In Greek mythology, the owl is the symbol of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and the hunt. In Hindu mythology, the Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity and beauty, rides an owl.
- Owls are found on every continent except Antarctica.
- Owls have long been considered the farmer's friend because they hunt rodents and other small animals that eat stores and crops.
- Like humans, owls' forward-facing eyes give them binocular vision, which may be one reason we identify with them more than other birds. Their eyes can't rotate in their sockets, so the owl can turn its head up to 270 degrees to look around.
- Owls have 3 sets of eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping, and one to keep the eye clean.
- Owl images have been found in cave paintings in France, in Egyptian hieroglyphics, and in Mayan art.
- Owls do have larger than average brains compared to other birds, possibly to help them process the sound information they need for nocturnal flight.
- A group of owls is called a "parliament," a "wisdom," or a "study."
One other reason we love owls may be their cute and fluffy babies. If you need to add a little cuteness and craft wisdom to your life, I recommend checking out the new video Felt It: Baby Owls and the baby owl kit, so you can learn how to needle felt your own wisdom of owls with the clever and fun VanSant sisters. They're a hoot!