From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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Hoot, or the Owl, is a friendly owl who sleeps in a tree near Whomp's Fortress in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS. When Mario climbs into his tree, Hoot complains that Mario woke him up when it is still during the day, but will then offer to give Mario a ride to the top of the fortress. When the player wants Mario to ride Hoot, they should press and hold the button ( in the DS remake) on the controller. If the player wants Mario to let go, they should simply let go of the / button, and Hoot will then return to near his tree (and will remain awake for the rest of the mission). The player can have Mario ride Hoot for as long as he would like. However, if Mario hangs on to Hoot for too long, Hoot will complain that Mario's weight is making it difficult for him to carry him for so long. He will then drop Mario, telling him to "lay off the pasta," and then return to near his tree. Depending on where in the sky Mario is, Hoot's action of letting him go could result in Mario's death.
It should be noted that Hoot will only appear in Whomp's Fortress during missions 3–6 (or missions 3–7 in the remake). If Mario is in this course during missions 1–2 and climbs Hoot's tree, Hoot himself will not appear.
Hoot later appears in Cool, Cool Mountain; Snowman's Land; Tall, Tall Mountain; and the huge part of Tiny-Huge Island in the DS remake during all missions in Cool, Cool Mountain; all but the first in Snowman's Land and Tall, Tall Mountain; and all but the first two in Tiny-Huge Island. In this game, Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi can all hang on to him.
Hoot appears as an unlucky gambler in Mario Party Advance. Hoot tells the player that he has a losing streak at the Jungle Game Hut, and he needs the player to help him. Once the player wins, the reward is the minigame Stop 'em. The ending states that he cannot stop shaking his head.
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