A chaw is a squadron within the Great Ga'Hoole Tree that specializes in teaching each owl a particular skill. There are eight chaws at Tree.
- Weather Interpretation
An owlet who has just arrived at the great tree is known as a Junior. After a time of probation in which the skills and abilities of each Junior are tested by the various rybs through fundamentals training, there comes a process known as tapping.
To be "tapped" into a particular chaw means that the ryb of that chaw has selected an owl to join its advanced chaw practices. When an owl is tapped into a chaw, they find an object within their hollow left behind by the ryb whose chaw they were selected to. The objects are:
- Colliering: A piece of coal and a dried caterpillar. Also means that the owl also has to fly with the weather interpretation chaw.
- Weather interpretation: A dried caterpillar.
- Blacksmith: A forged iron tree.
- Search-and-rescue: A molted feather.
- Navigation: Ten nooties placed in the shape of the Golden Talons constellation.
- Ga'Hoolology: a milkberry.
- Tracking: a pellet.
- Research-and-Printing: Unknown.
Chaw-chopping is an owl being temporairily dropped from their chaw due to the fact they've done something too horrible for a flint mop. This is considered to be humiliating.
- In the blu-ray version of the movie there is some extras where Soren guides you through the world of owls and Ga'Hoole. When he shows the Great Tree, he shows the chaws, and one is entitled 'Harp Guild', for snakes. But in the movie itself, the harp was never shown or mentioned, let alone the other nestmaid snakes, Madam Plonk and an actual chaw for it.