"That bloody bird's a menace!"
—Ron Weasley[src]

Errol was one of the Weasley family's owls. He was a great grey owl,[1] or Strix nebulosa.

He was "ancient" by 1992, and his poor eyesight caused him to hit objects in flight. According to Harry Potter, he resembled a moulting feather duster. Ron Weasley often called Errol a "bloody bird," a "ruddy bird," or a "menace".


Errol had been with the Weasley family since at least 1984, before Charlie Weasley started at Hogwarts School. During a game of truth-or-dare with friends sometime during in 1989–1990, Bill Weasley revealed that, in his youth, Charlie used to try and turn the family pets into dragons. Since this was before he knew any spells, he settled on sticking paper wings on Scabbers using Spellotape and on making Errol fly around with a dragon mask, and then following them around while jotting down his "observations of dragon behaviour".[2]

Errol clumsy

Errol's clumsiness and bad eye-sight

When Ron Weasley didn't hear from Harry Potter all summer, he initially thought it was Errol's fault because it wouldn't be the first time he collapsed on delivery. Errol was absolved when Ron learned that Dobby had magically prevented Harry from receiving post.[3]

Errol later delivered Hermione Granger's letter to Ron and Harry. Hermione advised Ron to use another owl next time because another delivery might finish Errol off.[4] He also delivered Molly Weasley's Howler to Ron after he and Harry stole Arthur Weasley's flying Ford Anglia and drove it to Hogwarts.[5]

On 31 July 1993, on Ron's behalf, Errol delivered Harry's first birthday present, a letter, and the Daily Prophet article about the Weasleys winning the Grand Prize Galleon Draw before his third year at Hogwarts. He lost consciousness during the journey, and he had to be carried into 4 Privet Drive by Harry's owl Hedwig and a Hogwarts owl.[6] Later that day, Harry sent Hedwig to stay at the Burrow with Errol while Marge Dursley visited Privet Drive.[7]

When she heard that Harry was expected to live on an extreme diet in the summer of 1994, Mrs Weasley sent Errol with an enormous fruitcake and assorted pasties. This was too much for Errol, whom Harry described as "elderly and feeble," and he needed five full days to recover.[8] Errol and Percy Weasley's owl Hermes had become annoyed by Ron's excitable owl Pigwidgeon, which forced Ron to keep him in his own room.[9]

Errol was last mentioned in August 1994, and subsequent letters from Arthur and Molly Weasley were delivered by an unidentified barn owl and by Fawkes. Considering Errol's advanced age, it is likely that he had passed away.


Books chapterart poa 01

Errol with Hedwig and a Hogwarts owl

Errol is a village in Scotland, near Perth, which may have served as inspiration for the name of the Weasley family owl.

It is also the name of a dragon in an early Terry Pratchett novel that flies into windows and has the tendency to explode.

It is also possible that his name refers to "error" (as the two words are similar), because of the bird's age and known characteristics.

Behind the scenes


The Harry Potter Wiki has 5 images related to Errol.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Owls" at Wizarding World
  2. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Side Quest "Adventures in Curse-Breaking"
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 3 (The Burrow)
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
  5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 6 (Gilderoy Lockhart)
  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 1 (Owl Post)
  7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 2 (Aunt Marge's Big Mistake)
  8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 3 (The Invitation)
  9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 5 (Weasley's Wizard Wheezes)
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