The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Great Horned Owl
(Bubo virginianus)


(click on any photos / drawings to enlarge)

IDENTIFICATION

(Photos by Marcel Gahbauer)

Size: 45-63 cm (similar to Red-tailed Hawk).   Description: Large owl with ear tufts, body ranging from light brown to dark brown with dark horizontal bars across the belly, and a white throat.   Range: Found in every province and territory throughout the year.   Habitat: Most often found in wooded areas, but very adaptable, occurring everywhere from swamps to deserts. Common within many cities.   Nest: Abandoned bird nests, tree cavities, or stumps. Lines nest with down feathers.   Voice: Low hooting in series of 4-8 at a time, sometimes described as "whoo, whoo-whoo, whoo, whooooo".    Diet: Mostly small mammals, some birds. One of the few regular predators of skunks. Can hunt prey as large as porcupines, great blue herons, and hawks.   Behaviour: Mostly nocturnal but often active during daylight too, especially during breeding season.   Notes: Very aggressive and strong. Most widespread breeding owl in Canada.
Two photos of the western species of the Great Horned Owl taken in Southeastern Saskatchewan. (photos by Alvin Nixon)

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Link to Owls of New York State fact sheet

 

Photo Gallery

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Canadian Peregrine Foundation