Great Horned Owl Facts: North American Animals

The Great Horned Owl (scientific name Bubo virginianus) is a sizable owl indigenous to much of the New World, including the Center, North and South America alike. It is often called the owl for its vocalizations, or the tiger owl for its multicolored plumage, composed mostly of different shades of brown and white spots and spots. These birds are easily distinguished by their “plumicorns”, which are tufts of elongated feathers found on the top of their heads as well as their piercing yellow eyes and feathered legs and feet. The large medium horned owl can weigh up to 3 with a wingspan of up to 48 inches. They are considered the heaviest owls in South and Central America,


The great horned owl is nocturnal in the sense that they prefer to hunt food on evenings and nights while most of the other animals are resting. They are well equipped for the task, with two of the sharpest eyes in the class of birds (Aves) that help them focus on food while they are in the dark. Their diet is composed of a wide range of animals including, but not limited to, cats, dogs, rodents, hawks, voles, insects, fish, rabbits and even American coots (birds found in American wetlands). They catch their prey as they perch on top of poles in wooded areas, most often hidden completely by foliage and tall shrubs. As soon as they find what they are looking for, they quickly dive into the ground with their wings bent and their claws ready to conquer their targets. Small animals like squirrels, shrews and bats are often completely swallowed without being chewed and broken down, after which unwanted parts of the body are expelled with the same efficiency and speed with which they were absorbed.

Habitat e Range

The great horned owls are among the most common owls in America and are among the most skilled and skilled in terms of hunting and foraging for food. According to statistics, their population has remained stable over the past two decades, despite being heavily hunted by humans. These birds adapt well to the sudden changes in their environment and, being nocturnal, they are not so easy to identify making them more resistant to the threat of extinction. Possible reasons for the decline of their number are pesticide poisoning (especially from that consumed indirectly by the animals that they eat that were poisoned themselves before), the destruction of their natural habitats and the pollution caused by careless human activities. However, they are classified as a kind of “Least Concern”


The great horned owls are daring and intelligent hunters, preferring to perch atop branches and twigs in densely covered areas like thick brushes and thick forests. They are aggressive defenders of their territories, who do so with repeated whistles and applause of their accounts. They don’t like having intruders in their midst, and they often whistle and scream in front of unknown animals or other humans.


The Great Horned Owl is strictly monogamous by nature, in the sense that they usually mate with one partner during their lifetime. The courtship typically begins around two full months before mating is selected, which is a decision taken by the woman through the whistle and bending of the tail. Couples who mate remain together for life, although they may begin to drift and spend more time alone when their young are able to live alone away from their nests. The selection of nesting sites is carried out by males. The sites will then be approved by women on the condition that they are in easily accessible areas that are large enough to accommodate their large size.


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