"Fly, Nyroc... fly..."

- Phillip's last words before Nyra kills him, The Hatchling

German phillip
Species: Sooty Owl
Gender: Male
Unnamed father
Unnamed mother
Unnamed siblings
Book Appearances
Appears in: The Rescue, The Burning, The Hatchling
Nyroc's best friend, was killed by Nyra when Nyroc refused to kill him for his Tupsi ceremony.

Illustration from the German edition of the books

Phillip, formerly Dustytuft, was a Greater Sooty Owl, or Tyto tenebricosa, a former member of the Pure Ones, and Nyroc's childhood best friend. He was later killed harshly by Nyra for Nyroc's Special Ceremony, or Tupsi. An owl must perform this ceremony to become apart of the Pure Ones. This requires an owl to kill another owl that is close to him/her. Poor Phillip, who was to be Nyroc's victim, was killed by Nyra after Nyroc's refusal to kill him.


Before the Books

Phillip was born in Silverveil. In a forest fire, his mother and siblings were killed, but he escaped with his father. They began to starve, so his father picked off a baby fox, breaking the rule of grosnik (to not kill parents with offspring, or the offspring themselves, so as to ensure the survival of the next generation.)

Soon after, they met two Pure Ones named Wortmore and Stryker, who were getting new recruits. His father liked the idea, so they joined. However, it turned out that Sooty Owls were one of the lowest ranks, and Phillip was miserable.

The Rescue

Phillip's father was killed in his very first battle by Ruby of the Great Tree in a rescue mission to save Ezylryb from the Pure Ones. According to Phillip, he was even more miserable than before and was nothing more than another mouth to feed to the Pure Ones. Around this time, the Pure Ones renamed him "Dustytuft."

The Burning

Dustytuft was still complaining of being such a low rank, and that nobody listened to him. It was almost too late when he saw the first line of Ga'Hoolians, and nearly went yeep. However, he recovered at the last second, and shouted the news. He was one of the few Pure One survivors of the battle that followed.

The Hatchling

Dustytuft was made by Nyra the companion of the young prince, Nyroc, after the death of Kludd. He praised the owlet for his swoops and dives at his First Flight Ceremony, and was even allowed to attend Kludd's Final Ceremony. Nyroc and Phillip were best friends, and Nyroc even asked his mother to give him a promotion. Dustytuft asked one favor of Nyroc: to call him Phillip when no one was looking.

Nyroc, after seeing the truth about his murderous parents in the flames, asked Phillip if he could join him on a "quest for truth." Phillip agreed, but they soon encountered crows. However, Nyroc tricked them into giving them a free pass through their territory. Phillip looked back and realized that a search party from the Pure Ones was after them, but they hid in a cave. Nyroc asked about the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, and Phillip told him the truth about it, for the Pure Ones had been feeding Nyroc lies. He then told Nyroc, at his inquiry, the sad tale of his past.

They fell asleep in the cave, and woke up in the morning, even though owls were supposed to sleep in the daytime. They flew away, but realized that they were being followed, so circled back. However, Nyroc was molting, and the feathers led the Pure Ones to them, so they threw themselves in the violent winds called the Shredders. They were thrown out by the Shredders and were easily recaptured.

Nyra and Nyroc had an argument. When the argument was over, Nyroc was left with a scar across his face, similar to his mother's. His scar was on the left side. Nyra apologized that she scratched him and told him that he was her world. Nyroc asked her if she loved him, but she wouldn't say the word love. Nyra wondered where her son learnt the word love.

Nyra asked Nyroc if he remembered about her promise about showing him a real live tree if he did well on his Tupsi. She tied Phillip to a tree, and asked her son to kill him for his initiation ceremony. However, Nyroc refused, so Nyra ripped Phillip's heart out. Nyroc then escaped, telling his mother that she "knew nothing."


  • His father's name is never mentioned
  • In the movie, one of the Pure Ones in training along with Kludd is a Sooty Owl. Some fans think this is Phillip, but this is just a speculation.