Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl is the most widely distributed own across North and South America. Twenty subspecies have been identified. It is the heaviest owl in Central and South America and the second heaviest owl in North America. Thy have relatively short wings ranging in length from 300 – 400 centimetres (12 – 16 inches) which gives them a high level of maneuverability.

They prey largely on rabbits and hares but also eat a wide range of larger sized mammals as well as birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. Hunting takes place in the evening or early morning. Small prey are eaten whole while larger creatures are torn into pieces. The indigestible bones, feathers and fur is regurgitated as a pellet several hours after eating.

Great Horned Owls form pair bonds and are highly territorial. They nest in Canada as early as March or April.

Great Horned Owl @ Safari Niagara

  • Safari Niagara is home to seven (7) Great Horned Owls

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Bubo
Species: B. virginianus

Did you know?

  • Great Horned Owls are monogamous
  • Because a pair defends a territory they do not form dense populations in any given area