The Swamp Thing writer revealed that visual clues to the group appeared throughout his year-long run on Detective Comics and his Batman: Gates of Gotham miniseries prior to his move to Batman in DC Comics' New 52 titles.
His run on Detective Comics has recently been collected in the Batman: The Black Mirror hardcover, with art by Jock and Francesco Francavilla.
"I had so much fun on the 'Black Mirror' run with Jock, Francesco and Dave B - not just issue to issue - but brainstorming and talking ideas that would play out over the whole year, that it got me thinking about my next big Batman story early," Snyder told iFanboy.
"So by the time we were heading toward home plate on it, I had the bones of this year's Court of Owls story down for myself, too. I told Jock and Francesco some of the beats and we thought it'd be fun to start lacing a couple glimpses of owls into the final issues. Same with Gates [of Gotham].
"The idea was to really make the reader feel - like Bruce - that the Court has been hiding in plain sight for years, built into the stone and glass latticework of the city itself, tucked into the history, the shadows."
Batman #4 will be released on December 21.