Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl
(Bubo virginianus)

Order:  Strigiformes
Family:  Strigidae

Photo credit: USFWS

Great Horned Owl Information

Length:  18 - 25"

Habitat:  Forests, open country, large woodlots, agricultural areas, streamsides, swamps, large suburban parks. Prefers woodlands with nearby open areas for hunting.

Diet:  Rabbits, hares, rodents (staples); other mammals such as opossums and skunks; ducks, grouse, pheasants, crows, songbirds; snakes, amphibians, insects

  Song and calls of the Great Horned Owl

Additional Information

Great Horned Owl
Range map, description, young, habitat, food and feeding, breeding, movements and life span of this bird. (From

Great Horned Owlet

Great Horned Owlet

© T. Theodore | Dreamstime

Great Horned Owl
Identification Tips

  • Wingspan: 55 inches
  • Sexes similar
  • Very large owl with prominent ear tufts
  • Yellow eyes and dark bill
  • Upperparts mottled brown, gray, and black
  • Pale underparts with fine brown bars
  • Reddish-brown facial disks bordered by black with a lower border of white
  • White throat patch
  • Pale gray form inhabits northern Canada

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Year-round Range Map
from eBird

Year-round sightings of the Great Horned Owl over last 10 years