"and a hundred and so owls streamed in"
GNU Free Documentation LicenseOwl - Credit: Evanherk

Owls have long been associated with the supernatural, mainly because of their nocturnal habits and their fierce facial appearance. But different cultures perceive these birds of prey in different ways.

Some like the Mayans, Aztec, Egyptians, Romans and the Kikuyus of Kenya saw the owl as a bad omen and considered it a symbol of death. Others, like the Greeks, took the owl as a symbol of knowledge and wisdom; it was represented on the emblem of Athens, a city which was the centre of teaching and intelligence. Because of this Greek influence, nowadays many educational facilities use the owl on their logos.

Owl, in A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories, is meant to be old and wise, but he has trouble spelling and doesn't always give the best advice.