Great horned owl

The Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) is a large and powerful owl species found across much of the Americas. Here’s a description of the Great Horned Owl and its distribution:

Description of the Great Horned Owl:

  • Appearance: The Great Horned Owl is one of the largest owl species in North America, with distinctive “horns” or ear tufts on its head. It has a large, rounded head, a mottled brown and white plumage that provides excellent camouflage, and piercing yellow eyes. Its facial disk, bordered by a dark line, helps direct sound to its ears for precise hunting. Its size can vary, but adults typically measure around 45 to 68 centimeters (18 to 27 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 91 to 153 centimeters (36 to 60 inches).
  • Habitat: Great Horned Owls are highly adaptable and can be found in a wide range of habitats, including forests, woodlands, deserts, grasslands, swamps, and urban areas. They prefer areas with open spaces for hunting, dense vegetation for nesting and roosting, and access to water sources.
  • Diet: Great Horned Owls are versatile predators and have a varied diet that includes small to medium-sized mammals (such as rabbits, squirrels, and rats), birds (including other owl species), reptiles, amphibians, and even large insects. They are powerful hunters, capable of taking prey much larger than themselves.
  • Behavior: Great Horned Owls are nocturnal hunters, using their keen eyesight and acute hearing to locate prey in the darkness. They are skilled hunters and can silently swoop down on their unsuspecting prey from above. They are also known for their hooting calls, which serve as territorial signals and communication between mates.
  • Reproduction: Great Horned Owls typically nest in abandoned nests of other large birds, such as hawks or crows, or in tree cavities. They are early breeders, with nesting occurring as early as December in some regions. Females lay 1 to 4 eggs, and both parents participate in incubating the eggs and raising the young owlets.

Distribution: The Great Horned Owl has a vast distribution range across North and South America. In North America, it is found throughout Canada, the United States, and Mexico. In South America, it is found in countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, and Argentina. They are also found in Central America and some Caribbean islands.

Given their adaptable nature and wide habitat tolerance, Great Horned Owls can be found in counties spanning various regions and ecosystems across their range. They are particularly common in wooded areas, but they can also be found in urban and suburban environments where suitable hunting and nesting opportunities exist.

Great horned owl in Zoos

Login Account

Already a Giraffe Customer?

Invaild email address.

6 or more characters, letters and numbers. Must contain at least one number.

Your information will nerver be shared with any third party.