Great Horned Owl

Description: The Great Horned Owl has a large head and body; large yellow forward-directed eyes; soft plumage; ear tufts are dark brown, mottled in white and buff; face is white to buff; distinctive locket of white at throat; powerful taloned feet and the hooked beak of a predator. It has two color phases, orange and whitish. The bill is dull slate-black or blackish-slate; the bare portion of the toes are light brownish gray or ashy; claws horn color, becoming black terminally.
Geographic RangeThe Great Horned Owl has a remarkable range of habitats. It is found throughout the boreal forests of Canada and Alaska, the temperate woods of Minnesota, and the tropical rain forests and mangroves of North and South America. It is not particular about its habitat, living in forest, mountain, and steepe areas. A permanent Minnesota resident.
Length: 19-35 inches in height with a wingspan of 50-62 inches.
Weight: 2.2-3.8 pounds
Habitat: Resides in hollows of trees, rock niches, abandoned nests of crows, hawks or eagles; occasionally will build its own. Probably no other Northern America owl lives in so many habitats and under so many climactic variations as the Great Horned Owl.
Typical Diet: Feed on smaller vertebrates: rodents, mice, hares, small birds, squirrels and skunks; also insects, worms.
Similar SpeciesEurasion Eagle Owl
Special Notes:
-mating season begins in February in Minnesota
-incubated for 34 to 36 days
-great ability to see in the dark
-12 to 14 vertebrae in their necks as opposed to the 7 found in mammals
-highly developed hearing (due to asymmetrical ear slits)
-hoot most frequently during the courtship season in mid-winter
-varied assortment of hoots, screams, hisses, whistles, and shrieks