Why Laughing Owl?
In our search for a moniker, icon, and mascot, we knew we’d
found all three rolled into one when we came across the
Laughing Owl of New Zealand. The Laughing Owl is the
embodiment of parents’ wish to educate, protect, and laugh
with their children. While an owl traditionally represents
wisdom, our goal was more complex. We wanted an image that
represented wisdom, but we didn’t want a wise, old character
admonishing the young. Laughing Owl conveys our
mission—helping parents communicate wise messages to their
children through music, conversation, and yes, laughter.
We don’t ignore the laughing owl’s more sober side because it,
too, is meaningful and serves as a warning. The Laughing Owl
is almost certainly extinct. When European settlers arrived in
New Zealand in
1840, the Laughing Owl was endemic to that region and had been
for at least one million years, possibly up to twenty-five
Only forty years after settlers arrived, the Laughing Owl was
close to extinction. The last specimen was reported in 1914.
Introduction of predators, such as cats and dogs, as well as
mustelines used to kill rabbits, is believed to be partially
responsible for the disappearance of these owls, which both
hunted and nested on the ground. Persecution and encroachment
of its natural habitat were also responsible.
animals are vulnerable to the way humans act, children
are dependent upon their parents’ actions. Laughing Owl
represents parents’ taking the time to communicate their
values to their children in order to raise children who
will become resilient teenagers able to survive the
pressures of their environment.