What Kind of Owl Is Hedwig From the Harry Potter Series?

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Published: February 11, 2024
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Harry Potter is one of the most popular books and movie series in the world. It’s so popular that the books have received films, spin-off series, and amusement park areas and rides. Within this magical world are many animals, including owls. Harry Potter even has his own, gifted to him on his 11th birthday, Hedwig. But who is Hedwig? What kind of owl is Hedwig? Follow along to find out.

What Kind of Owl is Hedwig?

In the Harry Potter series, Hedwig is a female snowy owl. Interestingly, though, although Hedwig is portrayed as a female, the character was played by seven male snowy owls. The names of the owls that played Hedwig are Gizmo, Kasper, Swoops, Oh Oh, Elmo, Ook, and Sprout.

About Snowy Owls

Snowy owls are sometimes also called Arctic owls, white owls, and polar owls.

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©Tambako The Jaguar / CC BY-ND 2.0 DEED – License

Now that we know what kind of owl Hedwig is, let’s learn more about snowy owls. Snowy owls are members of the Strigidae family. They are also known as polar owls, Arctic owls, and white owls. These owls are native to Arctic regions in North America and Eurasia.

Snowy owls are easy to identify. They are best known for their brilliant white plumage that helps them blend into snow. Snowy owls either look like lumps of snow or pale rocks when on the ground. Although mostly white, they also have dark spots or bars. The ‘bars’ are easier to see in female snowy owls.

So, how big can these majestic animals get? Snowy owls are about 20 to 26 inches long and can weigh as much as 6.5 pounds. The wingspan of a snowy owl ranges from 4 to 5 feet. Females are larger than males. Snowy owls aren’t just beautiful, though; they are also excellent hunters. These fierce birds eat seabirdsdeer micelemmings, ducks, and voles.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Karyn Schiller/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

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