Owl is the stuffy and talkative eldest main character who presents himself as a mentor and teacher to the others. He was not based on a stuffed toy, so in the illustrations, he looks more like a live animal.
Owl and most of his friends believe that he is the most intelligent animal in the wood, but he is really quite scatterbrained. He often rambles on into long-winded speeches and uses words that his friends do not understand. Though Owl likes to present himself as very knowledgeable, like most of the other characters he does not spell very well—he even spells his own name “Wol”. When Pooh comes to him for help in writing a birthday greeting for Eeyore, Owl tells Pooh that he is writing, “A very happy birthday with love from Pooh,” but in fact writes “HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY.” Pooh, who cannot read or write himself, goes on his way happy with Owl’s work and grateful for his help. When Rabbit (who is quite literate) comes to Owl to discuss a notice that Christopher Robin has left, Owl cannot read the notice. But rather than admit this, Owl anxiously bluffs his way through the conversation until he finally tricks Rabbit into reading the notice out loud, at which point Owl resumes his wise demeanor as if he had known all along what it said.