Q:

What do owls symbolize?

A:

Owls have been used in various artistic, mythological and literary traditions to symbolize concepts such as wisdom, magic, nighttime, protection and awareness. For example, the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, was often seen accompanied by owls.

Different cultural traditions have used owls to symbolize different things. According to Kansas State University, the Native American Pawnee people saw owls as a symbol of protection, and other Native groups believed that owls were associated with the ability to see and hear through deception. The Athenian owl, the constant companion of the goddess Athena, has represented the concept of wisdom for centuries with contemporary educational institutions such as Rice University adopting the owl as both its mascot for sports and symbol for more formal associations.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are owls carnivores or omnivores?

    A:

    Owls are carnivores; they are not omnivores. Owls mostly feed on small mammals such as rabbits and rodents as well as birds and insects. Some owl species focus on fish. The snowy owl loves lemmings and may consume more than 1,600 per year, or three to five daily.

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  • Q:

    How do owls communicate?

    A:

    Owls communicate using a variety of sounds. The sound depends upon the species of owl, and most species have multiple calls. The call of a species differs depending on distance and intent.

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  • Q:

    What is a group of owls called?

    A:

    A group of owls is officially called a parliament. Some people refer to a group of owls as a brood, diss, nest, looming or wisdom.

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  • Q:

    What eats owls?

    A:

    The main animals that eat owls include foxes, cats, birds of prey like eagles and sometimes other foraging animals such as raccoons. Owls tend to be at the top of the food chain, and the bigger ones especially tend to have few predators. Other owls sometimes kill owls, but usually over disputes for territory and not as food.

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