Hoothoot are round, owl-like brown birds with very large, red eyes. Around these eyes are black rings, with extensions on the lower parts of the pattern resembling stylized eyelashes. It has a black-colored crest on top of the black rings, which resembles the hands of a clock. Another notable feature is that it seems to have only one pink-colored foot with four toes. It actually has two feet, but one is usually hidden in the feathers underneath its body. Hoothoot's owlish beak is pink in coloration, its two wings are stubby, and its tail is short and mostly square with three tail feathers. Hoothoot’s underbelly is a shade of beige with tufts of feathers above its feet.
Being nocturnal, it has exceptional eyesight and hearing. It is capable of learning Psychic-type attacks. It also has the innate ability to tell exactly what time it is, and can even function as an alarm clock. Hoothoot has the ability to learn the move Foresight, which reveals Ghost-types through their tricks and nullifies their immunity to Fighting- and Normal-type moves.
They are nocturnal, meaning that they are only active at night. They have an organ that works like a timepiece, which allow Hoothoot to hoot at the same time each night. Hoothoot keep rhythm by precisely tilting their head in time. Hoothoot are also notable for their tendency to stand on one foot at all times, switching feet so quickly the movement can rarely be seen. Hoothoot keep one foot tucked into their feathers to conserve body heat. Their tendency to stand on only one foot is so strong, that even when attacked they do not brace themselves using both feet. However, they have been depicted to fly with both feet visible.
Hoothoot only come out at night, but are a very common sight anywhere in Johto. Their nests are likely to be found in the trees of forests.