Histoire Naturelle - Birds - Plate 3 - Falcon, Owl ~ The falcon,(one of several possible species, most likely the Lanner Falcon, Falco biarmicus), was known to the Egyptians as 'Horew' or 'Hor'. The falcon adorns a special structure called a 'serekh' enclosing one of the five names of the king, the 'Horus Name'. The falcon, as Horus, was responsible for bringing the sun to the world during creation.
Wall paintings and mummified owl remains have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs. The owl pictured here is the small barn owl, Tyto alba alba, and is the image used as the letter 'M' in hieroglyphics (probably pronounced 'm'). The owl motif was carved extensively on temple walls, burial chambers, on statues and in delicate gold work.