Why do people think of the owl as being wise? Most species of owls have difficulty learning even the most rudimentary tasks. It’s odd that we use the expression, “wise as an owl.” Maybe it’s the appearance of their eyes that gives the impression of intelligence. The large eyes seem to be paying attention and give an air of intelligence. If our eyes were proportionally as large, they would be as big as oranges. Another theory is that owls were associated with Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. Over time, people began to assume that owls must be smart if they were Athena’s companions. Do you know anyone who looks smarter than they are? On the other hand, I know some people who are smarter than they look.