"The owls sat hooting softly down at him, at least three hundred of them; from Great Greys right down to tiny little Scops owls ('Local Deliveries Only'), which were so small they could have sat in the palm of Harry's hand."
Harry observes the owls at the Hogsmeade Post Office[src]

The scops owl, also called scops-owl, is the second-smallest type of owl in the world, the smallest being the elf owl.[1] This kind of owl is present in the Hogsmeade Post Office, making "LOCAL DELIVERIES ONLY".[2] Ron Weasley owned a small Scops owl, Pigwidgeon.[3]

Scops owls may be sold at Eeylops Owl Emporium in Diagon Alley.[4]

A Scops owl is one possible corporeal form of the Patronus Charm.[5]


In the 1989–1990 school year, Jacob's sibling spotted what they thought to be a Scops owl in the Owlery while looking for a white owl with Talbott Winger.[6]

Behind the scenes

  • In the Mainland Chinese translation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the term "scops owl" was translated as 小吟游诗人猫头鹰 (xiǎo yín-yóu shīrén māotóuyīng), meaning "small reciting wandering poet owl". This was a glaring mistake in translation, as the translator mistook the real-world species of owl ("scops" coming from the Ancient Greek word for owls generally) for "scop", the name given to an old English poet or bard.[7] While exact classifications vary, a more accurate translation would be 角鸮 ("horned owl").


Notes and references

  1. Scops owl on Wikipedia
  2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 14 (Snape's Grudge)
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 3 (The Knight Bus)
  4. Pottermore - Book 1, Chapter 5, Moment 1. Note that the owl in this scene, which is located near Eeylops, is identified in the page source by the files otuslwing.png, otusrwing.png, and otusbody.png. Otus is the genus which comprises the scops owl.
  5. (see this image)
  6. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 8 (Owl Prowl)
  7. Harry Potter: Mistranslations in the Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese versions - "Wandering minstrel owls? (Mainland Chinese version)" at Bathrobe's "Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Language Site"
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