The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Great Gray Owl
(Strix nebulosa)

(click on any photos / drawings to enlarge)


(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

(Photo by Shay Redmond)

Size: 60-83 cm (similar to Turkey Vulture).   Description: Large facial disks. Mottled gray/brown on the back and wings, heavy vertical gray streaks on underparts. The amount of brown colouration increases with age.   Range: British Columbia, the territories, prairie provinces, and northern Ontario throughout the year; southern Ontario and Quebec in some winters.   Habitat: Northern forests, especially with clearings nearby for hunting.   Nest: Abandoned nest of hawks or crows, or on a tree stump.   Voice: Series of deep hoots, rarely heard.   Diet: Mostly voles and other small mammals; occasionally birds.   Behaviour: Primarily nocturnal, but often hunts during the day, especially during the winter and while feeding young.   Notes: Canada’s largest owl, though not nearly as heavy as a Great Horned Owl or Snowy Owl. May plunge through as much as 30 cm of snow to capture rodents detected by sound.





Great Gray Owl

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