Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl
(Strix nebulosa)

Order:  Strigiformes
Family:  Strigidae

Great Gray Owl Information

Length:  24 - 33"

Habitat:  Dense coniferous forests with nearby open areas such as bogs, forest clearings, or open fields. Seeks breeding habitat containing the abandoned nest of a large bird such as a hawk or raven.

Diet:  Primarily small rodents such as voles and mice. Also rats, shrews, squirrels, weasels, and some birds.

  Songs and calls of the Great Gray Owl

Additional Information

Great Gray Owl
Habitat, feeding behavior, nesting, diet, migration, and conservation status of this bird. Includes range map, photos, and sounds. (From Audubon Field Guide)

Great Gray Owl in Flight

Great Gray Owl in Flight

© Arne List [CC BY-SA 2.0], via WC

Great Gray Owl
Identification Tips

  • Wingspan: 60 inches
  • Very large, nocturnal, predatory bird
  • Large, rounded head
  • Yellow eyes
  • Gray facial disks with darker rings
  • Gray upperparts with paler barring
  • Pale underparts with large, dark irregular streaks
  • Sexes similar
Similar species
The Great Gray Owl is larger and grayer than other owls and lacks ear tufts.

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Great Gray Owl
Range Maps from Cornell

Great Gray Owl nonbreeding and year-round range

Includes separate map of sightings.