An Undertaking In Getting Real Owls To Carry Letters In Harry Potter

Fact: The Owls in Harry Potter Movies were Trained to Carry Real Letters

The Harry Potter series ranks among the most magical fantasy movie productions. In the movies, owls carry messages from one wizard to another and accompany Harry Potter and his friends on multiple adventures. Originally, the production tried to train bats to carry letters, but this was scrapped due to the fact that the bats tended to urinate during flight.

The owls were actually trained to carry letters, but the process was far from easy. The graphics team had to write one letter after the other to make these look authentic. The problem was that most of these were too heavy for the owls to carry. Even after the team identified the correct size for these letters, the owls needed six additional months to learn how to fly and carry those at the same time. Getting the owls to do what you want is far easier in the literary world where it’s as simple as a stroke on a keyboard or a pen mark on a piece of paper. Training the fictional owls was not a problem encountered by J.K. Rowling when she wrote the original series of books. This is the beauty of being the writer and if you’re as successful as she is, you can take any liberties you want in the creative process in the knowledge that fans will enjoy your work. 

Owl trainer Gary Gero revealed some additional information about the films. Some of the owls were presented as different species, even though some of them were the same species (the Brown Owl and the Tawny Owl). He said that all of the owls used in the movies were real, except for a few stunts that were animated. Since different species (there are 200 species of owl) of owls tend to be aggressive towards each other, filming parts of the movies where they had to appear together proved to be a real challenge.

Since the movies aired, one of the trainers whose owls were used in the movie, admitted a string of animal cruelty offences.

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