Great Horned Owl

Bubo virginianus

The great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) is one of the most common owls of North America. It is also known as the cat owl, hoot owl, big-eared owl and the “tiger of the sky”, likely due to its ability to catch prey much larger than itself. It is found in a huge variety of habitats such as forests, grasslands, wetlands and deserts, as well as in close proximity to humans, being commonly seen in backyards and cities.

Characteristics

The great horned owl is a large owl, with broad wings and a pale, tawny-brown facial disc, which sometimes has a reddish tint. They have very distinct ear tufts, which give the owl the appearance of having ‘horns’. These ear tufts lay flat when the owl is in flight. The eyes are glowing yellow or orange, contrasting with its body pattern. The legs are covered in thick feathers, with only the talons exposed…

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