Great-horned Owl

Bubo virginianus

Great-horned Owl
Photo courtesy of Tom Grey

Their fluffy plumage makes flight nearly soundless. Most hunt at night, roosting during the daylight hours. They have keen eyesight and sharp hearing, both aiding with hunting. All have immobile eyes in large heads, therefore, they move their heads about. Flocks of small songbirds noisily mob a roosting owl. They are best known for their loud, mournful calls, which pierce the night.

Description:
Largest of the North American owls; about two times the size of a crow. Large, bulky-shaped, mottled brown-gray-dark brown bird. Breast finely barred with a white throat. “Horns” refer to the tufts of feather on the head
Voice:
A series of three to eight loud, deep hoots. The second and third hoots often are short and rapid.
Food:
Preys on skunks, grouse, and other small birds and mammals.
Nest:
Begin nesting early in the year.
Roosts and nest in tree branches near the trunk. May also nest in caves or
on the ground.
Habitat:
Varied; from city to forest to open desert. Common in woods near open country.
Range:
North America.
Migration:
The Great-horned Owl is chiefly nocturnal (active at night) but may hunt during the daytime. Its large, yellow eyes provide sharp night vision. A special arrangement of feathers on the leading edges of the wings enables it to fly silently as it swoops down on its prey.
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