The Augurey, also known as the Irish Phoenix, is a thin and mournful looking bird, somewhat like a small underfed vulture in appearance, with greenish black feathers and a sharp beak. Its diet consists of insects, fairies and flies, which it hunts for in the heavy rain. Intensely shy, the Augurey lives in a tear-shaped nest in thorn and brambles.
It is native to Great Britain and Ireland, but is also found in Northern Europe. It was long believed that the mournful cry of the Augurey foretold death, and wizards would go to great lengths to avoid Augurey nests. However, research determined that the Augurey merely sings when it is about to rain. Why I Didn't Die When the Augurey Cried, written by Gulliver Pokeby, was published in 1824 by Little Red Books, and dispelled the myth that the cry of the augurey signalled impending death.
Augurey feathers repel ink, making them useless as Quill feathers. However, the magical Quill of Acceptance that records prospective students for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Book of Admittance was believed to come from an augurey.
When it was learned that an Augurey could foretell the coming of rain, they were used as weather forecasters. However, the continual moaning from them during the winter months was difficult to bear.
Uric the Oddball once owned fifty pet Augureys. On one particularly rainy day, they all cried at once, leading Uric to believe that he had died and was now a ghost. This led to him giving himself a concussion by trying to walk through walls.