Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Magic/Bowtruckle

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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Magic
Type Creature
Features Bark-like skin, sharp claws
First Appearance Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


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A Bowtruckle is a tree dwelling creature found in western England, southern Germany, and Scandinavian forests. It appears to be made of bark and twigs with two brown eyes which makes it hard to distinguish from the trees it inhabits. If a Bowtruckle thinks its tree is in danger, it has been known to gouge the intruder's eyes out. The Bowtruckle's favourite food is woodlice, which can be used to distract it.

Extended Description

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Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Professor Grubbly-Plank teaches a class on Bowtruckles early in Harry's fifth year. Harry's Bowtruckle escapes before he is finished drawing it, and he has to finish the drawing as homework. A Bowtruckle chatters angrily at him later, when he is in the Forbidden Forest.

There is a mention of them also in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. As the Prince is escaping at the end of the book, Hagrid's hut is set on fire. Hagrid comments that he was binding up the legs of a couple of Bowtruckles, and mourns that they are now "burnt ter twigs."

From a throw-away comment by Aberforth Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, "They'd be on you like Bowtruckles on Doxy eggs," we surmise that Doxy eggs are a favoured food for Bowtruckles, when they can find them.


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Bowtruckles are very peripheral to the story. They appear in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as one of the topics most likely to appear on the Ordinary Wizarding Levels tests. Their appearance in the story seems to be designed as a means of comparing Professor Grubbly-Plank's teaching methods with Hagrid's more unorthodox techniques.


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Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

  1. What do Bowtruckles like to eat?
  2. What is a group of Bowtruckles called?
  3. How do you tame Bowtruckles?

Greater Picture

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Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.