Owl is a popular character in Russian oral legends "Bilini". Its body is used by Sirin, mythological creature with the head and chest of a beautiful woman. According to the beliefs, the Sirin lived in Vyrai or around the Euphrates River. This haf woman half owl is directly based on the later folklore about sirens. She was portrayed wearing a crown or with a nimbus. Siren sang beautiful songs to the saiints, foretelling future blisses. The bird was dangerous. Men who heard her would forget everything on Earth, follow her, and ultimately die. People would attempt to save themselves from Sirin by shotting cannons, ringing bells and making other loud noises to scare the bird off. Later (17-18 century) the image of Sirin changed and she started to symbolize world harmony (as she lives near paradise). People in those times believed only happy people could hear Sirin, while only few could see one because she is is as fast and difficult to catch as human happiness. She symbolizes eternal joy and heavenly happiness. According to folk tales at the morning of the Apple feast of the Saviour Day, Sirin flies into the apple orchard and cries sadly. In the afternoon the Alkonost flies to this place, beginning to rejoice and laugh. Alkonost brushes dew from her wings, granting healing powers to all fruits on the tree she is sittiing on. The legend of Sirin might have to Rus by Persian merchants in the 8-9 century. In the cities of Chersonesos and Kiev she is often found on pottery, golden pendants, even on the borders of Gospel book of tenth-twelfth centuries. Due to the history the Russian culture has experienced a very strong correlation with Serb culture and Byzantine Empire through its steppes, the Volga river and Dniper river. Pomors often depicted Sirin on the illustrations in the book of Genesis as birds sitting on paradise streets. Wikipedia.