Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl: Large owl with dark brown, gray-brown mottled upperparts and dark barred underparts. Head has distinct ear tufts and rufous facial disk. Throat and upper breast are white and may have dark spots. Northern birds are paler and grayer. Strong, silent, direct, flap and glide flight.
Range and Habitat
Great Horned Owl: Found throughout the forests of North, Central, and South America, from the Arctic to the Straits of Magellan. Preferred habitats include coniferous, mixed, and deciduous woodlands, areas along cliffs and rocky canyons, and forest openings.
The Great Horned Owl is native to and the most widespread owl species throughout the Americas. Its breeding grounds are found in subarctic areas of North America, Central America and South America. Their preferred habitats include deciduous, coniferous and mixed woodlands, tropical rainforests, prairies, deserts, urban areas and mountains. Once this bird finds a mate, it becomes a permanent resident in its territory. Great Horned Owl eggs and young may fall prey to foxes, coyotes and wild or feral cats. Their diets consist of mammals such as rabbits, rats, squirrels, mice, moles, voles, shrews, bats, weasels and gerbils. The Great Horned Owl’s conservation rating is Least Concern.
The Great Horned Owl will eat birds ranging in size from kinglets to Great Blue Herons and regularly eat other owls.
In frigid areas, where larger prey cannot be eaten quickly, they may let uneaten food freeze and then thaw it out later using their own body heat.
The reintroduction of Peregrine Falcons has been hampered in some areas by owls killing both adult and nestling falcons.
A group of owls has many collective nouns, including a "bazaar", "glaring", "parliament", "stooping", and "wisdom" of owls.