Owl Day

Aug 4

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"O you virtuous owle, The wise Minerva's only fowle." ~Sir Philip Sidney, A Remedy for Love

Owls are generally solitary, but when seen together the group is called a “parliament” as they have long been considered to be of a wise disposition.


Owl Awareness Day is a day to learn more about the owl, a family of about two hundred species of mostly solitary and nocturnal birds of prey typified by an upright stance, a large, broad head, binocular visionbinaural hearing, sharp talons, and feathers adapted for silent flight. Exceptions include the diurnal northern hawk-owl and the gregarious burrowing owl.  They are found in all regions of the earth except Antarctica and some remote islands.

The owl has been been the subject of many superstitions, some positive but many not.  Here are some interesting superstitions formerly believed of owls.


  • Owls are the only creatures that can live with ghosts, so if an owl is found nesting in an abandoned house, the place may be haunted.

  • If a traveler dreams of an owl, he will be robbed or possibly shipwrecked.

  • If you see an owl perched in a tree and you walk around that tree, the owl will follow you with its eyes, turning his head around until he wrings his own neck. 

  • It is bad luck to see an owl in daylight (Scotland)

On the positive side, owls were also believed to bring good fortune in other cultures:


  • An Afghan legend states that it was the owl that presented humans with flint and iron so that they could make fire. 

  • The Aborigines of Australia believe that owls are the spirits of women and are therefore sacred.

  • To the Inuit of Greenland, the owl is a symbol of guidance and help

For a very interesting list of owl superstitions from various countries, click the Great Horned owl and her very well camouflaged owlet.  Can you spot the baby owl?


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