Bronze statuette of Athena flying her owl , ca. 460 B.C.E. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (via The Met)
Owls of a type that can still be seen flitting about the Akropolis of Athens were associated with Athena, whose sanctuary was on top of that high rocky plateau. For centuries, the principle coinage of Athens showed the head of Athena on one side and an owl on the other. Here the goddess stands relaxed, ready to let the owl fly.