A Magizoologist’s guide for the regular witch and wizard
Today we will be covering: Hippogriffs
Ministry of Magic Classification: XXX – Competent Wizard Should Cope
As you can see in the image above, Hippogriffs have quite a unique appearance. They have the head, front legs and wings of giant eagles, and the body, hind legs and tail of horses.
Their beaks are steel coloured and can easily snap a small mammal in half.
Their eyes are large and a bright orange. Despite the eeriness, one should always maintain eye contact when approaching a hippogriff.
The talons on their front legs are extremely dangerous, and can be half a foot long. They are sharp enough to cut at the lightest touch.
Their gleaming coats come in several colours and are quite unique. The soft feathers from the front half change smoothly into fur halfway down the body.
Their wings, when unfurled, can span several metres and allow them to fly at incredible speed.
Hippogriffs are carnivorous creatures. Generally, they use their talons to burrow for insects to eat. However, they have been known to eat birds or other small mammals.
Breeding hippogriffs build nests upon the ground into which they lay a single, large and fragile egg.
The egg generally hatches within twenty-four hours. The fledgling should be ready to fly within a week, although it will take months before it can go on a long journey.
Breeding hippogriffs and fledglings should never, ever, be approached.
BehaviourHippogriffs are extremely proud creatures; every witch and wizard should know the proper etiquette when approaching one. Click To Tweet
If you were lucky enough to have a good Care of Magical Creatures teacher, you might be familiar with all of this. Let’s review it just in case.
While the taming of hippogriffs should only be attempted by experts, here are a few tips to approach one and make it back alive.
Firstly, eye contact should always be maintained when approaching it. Stay calm and try not to blink too much. Step closer cautiously, moving only as much as necessary. Give the hippogriff time to notice you.
A startled hippogriff is a deadly hippogriff.
While maintaining eye contact, bow courteously, with the same deference you would show if you were approaching Newt Scamander himself.
Despite the fear you are sure to feel, and the instinctual urge to run, you must wait for the hippogriff to bow back.
If it doesn’t, be ready to run for your life.
Now, if you are one of the lucky few, the hippogriff will bow back, allowing you to approach it and, if you are brave enough, to touch it.
Breeding hippogriffs was once a very lucrative business. Although native to Europe, hippogriffs can now be found anywhere in the world for that exact reason. In fact, famous magizoologist Newt Scamander grew up surrounded by them, as his mother was an enthusiastic breeder of fancy hippogriffs.
However, once the use of hippogriffs for personal transportation was outlawed by the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, the breeding business all but disappeared.
Individuals who still own a hippogriff are responsible for its care and actions. They are also required by law to cast a Disillusionment Charm on it daily to avoid even the slightest risk of Muggle detection.
For those curious enough, there is a large herd of hippogriffs you can visit at Hogwarts during the summer break.