….…was a symbol created for Mission Viejo after they purchased the cattle ranch from Lawrence Phipps’ estate and started developing the 22,000-acre property into the New Town of Highlands Ranch. According to Kathi Brock, owner of the public relations firm Brock and Associates, the firm was tasked with creating a symbol that could be used in marketing for this new development. They considered using the obvious symbol …cattle (after all, Highlands Ranch was a cattle ranch for many years),


but felt that the new community would be more vibrant and active, so they settled on an epic bird.

This bird was a collective, strong bird, representing the many powerful birds of prey found on the Ranch, such as owls, falcons, eagles, and hawks. There have always been questions about “what kind of bird is it,” with answers of Falcon and Eagle most common.

Recently, the Highlands Ranch Community Association (HRCA) updated the bird, into a full-fledged eagle.

Today we see this Epic Bird and his updated Eagle cousin everywhere, such as at all entrance markers to Highlands Ranch, as well as on the HRCA website and printed material.  Highlands Ranch has indeed grown into that strong, active, and forward-thinking community as was envisioned 40 years ago.

Written by Shirley Cavanaugh, HRHS Publicity Chair, 2021 for the HR 40th Anniversary