6 Fun Facts About Owls in Pop Culture

Whether it's in video games, TV, or books, these beloved birds are everywhere.

Once you start looking around, owls are everywhere, especially in pop culture! Boot up a video game and it’s possible you’ll find an owl or two. In the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a wise owl helps the hero find his way through Hyrule, and players of Pokemon can catch all sorts of bird Pokemon, including ones that look suspiciously like owls! Owls also pop up in commercials, as mascots, and in children’s books and TV shows. We rounded up some of our favorite owls in pop culture to share some fun facts about them.

Owls in Pop Culture:

  1. Wizards and witches in J.K. Rowling’s seven-book Harry Potter series use owls to deliver their mail. The author says her interest in owls began when her mother made her an owl toy when she was 6 or 7.
  2. In the Pokemon game franchise, players are encouraged to catch and train all 801 of the titular fantasy creatures, many of which are based on real-life animals, such as dogs, cats, fish and even owls. Hoothoot, Noctowl and Rowlet are three Pokemon inspired by the bird.
  3. Mr. Owl informed TV viewers it only took three licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop before biting into it himself, but Purdue University engineering students built a licking machine to calculate an average of 364 licks to the center.
  4. Woodsy Owl, the U.S. Forest Service mascot, has encouraged children to protect the environment for almost four decades. One of the classic mottos is “Give a hoot, don’t pollute!”
  5. Besides Pooh himself, Owl and Rabbit are the only two characters from Winnie-the-Pooh based on real animals. The others were inspired by the author’s son’s stuffed animals.
  6. X the blue-feathered owl appeared in the first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in 1968. He’s known for his admiration of Benjamin Franklin, even going so far as to occasionally dress up as the Founding Father.

Kaitlin Stainbrook
Kaitlin Stainbrook, Associate Editor, Birds & Blooms Although Kaitlin is a newbie when it comes to birding and gardening, she loves getting to learn on the job. (She's already impressed a few friends by being able to identify a couple songbirds!) Previously, she worked on other Reader's Digest magazines like Reminisce and Country Woman. Hidden talents include playing the ukulele and speaking Japanese.