- 18.1–24.8 in
- 39.8–57.1 in
- 32.1–88.2 oz
- Grand-duc d'Amérique (French)
- Búsho cornudo (Spanish)
- The Great Horned Owl is the only animal that regularly eats skunks.
- The Great Horned Owl will take large prey, even other raptorial birds. It regularly kills and eats other owls, and is an important predator on nestling Ospreys. The reintroduction of Peregrine Falcons has been hampered in some areas by owls killing both adult and nestling falcons.
- The Great Horned Owl is a regular victim of harassment from flocks of American Crows. Crows congregate from long distances to mob owls, and may continue yelling at them for hours. The enmity of the crows is well earned, however, as the owl is probably the most important predator on adult crows and nestlings.
- Even though the female Great Horned Owl is larger than her mate, the male has a deeper voice. Pairs often call together, with audible differences in pitch.
- Found in a wide variety of habitats, but prefers open and secondary-growth woodlands and agricultural areas.
- Also in boreal forest, desert, and suburban and urban areas.
Broad diet of animals, from small mammals to rabbits, geese, and herons. Some birds, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates, but mostly mammals.
- Clutch Size
- 1–5 eggs
- Egg Description
- White, close to spherical.
- Condition at Hatching
- Helpless and covered with white down.
Uses a variety of nest sites, including trees, cliffs, buildings, and the ground. Does not make its own nest. Typically takes over nests in trees made by other bird species. Often puts nest in hollows or broken-off snags in trees.
Hunts at night, mostly from perches next to open areas.
Not endangered; populations robust. Individuals may be threats to endangered species.
- Houston, C. S., D. G. Smith, and C. Rohner. 1998. Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). In The Birds of North America, No. 372 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.