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In Clash of the Titans (2010), Perseus finds a metal owl.

It's obviously some sort of in-joke, but what's the reference?

Metal Owl

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The reference is to the original movie Clash of the Titans from 1981. The owl has a more prominent role in that movie. This is just a "cameo" to give the audience a chuckle.

Edit: Its name is Bubo ... I never knew it had a name, but the wiki page explains it all!

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