Familiars are magical animals that provide aid to witches.
A familiar is an animal that accompanies a witch in the form of a pet, offering her its help and advice when she requires it. Familiars can be a variety of animals but the most common ones are crows and owls.
Witches learn to communicate with their familiars through understanding their language. Towards this end Luna Nova Academy offers several courses on the languages of various animals as part of Magic Linguistics. The most basic requirement is Bird Language, so witches can speak with crows and owls.