Great Horned Owl. Bird Watching Great Horned Owls


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide



Great Horned Owl
Bubo virginianus


Description - The great horned owl is a large owl that is chiefly nocturnal. Its colour varies from nearly white (in the Arctic) to dark brown and grey. It is mottled and streaked below, setting off its white throat. The ear tufts are prominent and widely spaced; the eyes are yellow. The call is a series of low, sonorous, far-carrying hoots.

Distribution - Great horned owls are resident throughout all of North America in forests, woodlands, thickets, chapparal, streamsides, open country, deserts, canyons, cliffs and even city parks.

Biology - The great horned owl preys on rabbits, rodents and birds and occasionally skunks. They lay their 2-3 white eggs on a bare surface of a cliff, cave or on the ground; in the East they will use the uninhabited nests of the heron, hawk or crow. This is the largest and best known of the common owls.


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Great Horned Owl. Bird Watching Great Horned Owls