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Great Horned Owl


Class: Aves

Order: Strigiformers

Family: Strigidae

Genus: Bubo virginianus

Size: 18”-20”; wingspan 36”-60”

Breeding: Nesting in January and February

Mating: Maturity at 18 months

Gestation: 26-30 days; incubation by both parent

No. of young: 1-5

Lifestyle: solitary/nocturnal

Diet: small mammals, birds, insects

Lifespan: 20 years

Great Horned Owls are found throughout North America and live in dense forest, deserts and plains to city parks

Owls are night hunters. They haunt the forest with their loud hoots and screeches/ they are brown in color with upper parts lighter and finely barred with darker shades with their undersides much darker. Feathers on their throat are white. Both sexes are similar except the female is larger. They can also turn their head 180 degrees, one of the few animals that can. They are called horned owls because of the tufts of feathers that appear to be “horns”. Flight feathers are soft allowing for quiet flight. They have extremely sharp hearing and eye sight but have no sense of smell. Their eyes can resolve items in a light 1/10 that of the lowest level humans can see.

Great horned owls never build their own nest, but instead barrow a nest from a squirrel or hawk., and in some cases they will nest in hollows of trees or rocky caves.

Great horned owls are not endangered. 


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