The Lore of the Olivas Owls

Olivas Adobe have been for decades the home of a family of Great Horned Owls.

by Richard Senate

The large eucalyptus trees that grow near the Olivas Adobe have been, for decades the home of a family of Great Horned Owls. They are the largest of the owl family and they are called “great horned” because of two tufts of feathers on  their head that resembles horns.

Sometimes they are called Tiger Owls or Hoot Owls and they can have a wingspan of up to 4.5 feet (1.4 meters). They can  weigh in as much as three pounds (1.4 Kilograms). Their Latin name is Bibo Virginianus Pacifica. They use their excellent eyesight to prey upon the gophers from the near-by golf course. They are known for their distinctive call, hence the name “hoot owls.”  Their cry is believed to be an omen of ill fortune and coming death. They say if you see an owl perched atop a house it means that one of the  residents will die soon.  Folklore says that owls only make their nest near haunted houses.

In the Middle Ages owls were linked to witches and witchcraft. Because of this they were, like cats, hunted and killed by superstitious people. Owls have been part of the Olivas Adobe for decades and each spring new owlets are hatched in the large tree where the baby owls in the nest can be viewed in the Spring.  It is only fitting because the Olivas Family descended from warrior knights who served the Spanish King. The family crest is a shield with a large owl!

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