When you say "owl", no matter how many barn owls, screech owls, or pygmy owls I've ever seen, the owl I see is Spooky, the Great Horned Owl who lived at the Boston Museum of Science from 1951 to 1989. In the wild, ten years is a good lifespan for a Great Horned Owl, but even in captivity, thirty-eight years is amazing. Although I believe that there have been a handful of owls who have lived longer since then, as advances in veterinary bird medicine have continued, thirty years is still a good run for a zoo owl; thirty-eight would be amazing even now, and was unprecedented then.
Spooky actually liked people. Oh, it's not like the audience got to touch him or anything, but you would go see an animal presentation, and the presenter would be teaching you things about animals and birds, and Spooky would be sitting on the presenter's shoulder the whole time, just watching the audience, and seeming to enjoy the whole thing. When I was a kid, seeing Spooky was one of the things that we ALWAYS made sure to do when we went to the Museum of Science.
The other thing about it was that Spooky lived long enough that seeing Spooky the Owl as a kid was an experience that my parents shared with my sister and me. They'd seen the owl, and loved him, and then, when they grew up and had kids and took us, we could see the same owl, and love him just as much.
And that's why, when I think of Superb Owl Sunday, I think of Spooky.
Posted at https://xiphias.dreamwidth.org/802092.html; you can comment there or here. There are comments over there.