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Scientific Classification

Genus species:Bubo virginianus

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:46-63.5 cm
Weight:.9-1.8 kg
Identification:The great horned owl is reddish-brown to gray or black and has white feathers. Its undersides are light gray with dark bars, and the upper breast has a white band. The owl has large yellow eyes surrounded by a orange-buff facial disc. Tufts of feathers on the head make the owl look like it has horns, hence the name.
Habitat:Every type of woodland, farmland, desert with scrub, mountainous area, mangroves and urban areas
Diet:Carnivore: frogs, fish, domestic fowl, rodents, rabbits, birds, reptiles, amphibians
Reproduction:January and February make up the mating season of the great horned owl. Breeding pairs will often use the old nests of other birds in which to lay their 2-4 eggs. The female does the incubating for 26-35 days. The chicks are capable of flight by ten weeks of age. Great horned owls can live for 13 years in the wild and up to 38 years in captivity. These birds have the same mating partner each year.
In the nonbreeding season, mates part and owls become solitary.
Behavior:Adults will often remain near their breeding area throughout the year, returning to the same mating territory for several years. Young owls will often disperse from their parents' territory.
Status:No special status
Interesting Facts:The great horned owl is the species most often associated with the expression 'wise old owl' because of its flat-feathered facial disks, wide eye set and the presents of ear tufts. The owl is perfectly adapted to night hunting, with extraordinary powers of vision and soft downy plumage enabling it practically soundless flight. The skull and facial feathers of the owl are designed to facilitate hearing, where they are able to locate prey entirely by sound.

Other Information

Geographic:North America Date:1958-1988 Subjects:raptor
Great horned owl
Great horned owl -- Infancy
Birds of prey
Predatory animals