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Merlin Bird ID

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    Great Horned Owl Identification

    The Four Keys to ID

    • Size & Shape

      These are large, thick-bodied owls with two prominent feathered tufts on the head. The wings are broad and rounded. In flight, the rounded head and short bill combine to create a blunt-headed silhouette.

      Relative Size

      Slightly larger than a Red-tailed Hawk.

      Relative Sizebetween crow and goosebetween crow and goose
      Measurements
      • Both Sexes
        • Length: 18.1-24.8 in (46-63 cm)
        • Weight: 32.1-88.2 oz (910-2500 g)
        • Wingspan: 39.8-57.1 in (101-145 cm)

    Regional Differences

    Great Horned Owls vary in color tone across their range: birds from the Pacific Northwest tend to be dark sooty; individuals across the Southwest are paler and grayer; and birds from subarctic Canada can be almost white.