Great Horned Owl


gh4282010-3, photo by Sherri & Dan.

Wikipedia says that the Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus is also known as the tiger owl, or cat owl because of its catlike ears, eyes, shape of head, and appearance when huddled up on its nest. The UM Animal Diversity Web Bubo virginianus page notes that while the owl can see during the day, it has even better vision at night and does its most effective hunting then. They also warn that when the great horned owl has young in its nest, it can be very hostile.

Here’s some fun facts on Great Horned Owls from All About Birds:

  • The Great Horned Owl is the only animal that regularly eats skunks.
  • The Great Horned Owl will take large prey, even other raptorial birds. It regularly kills and eats other owls, and is an important predator on nestling Ospreys. The reintroduction of Peregrine Falcons has been hampered in some areas by owls killing both adult and nestling falcons.
  • The Great Horned Owl is a regular victim of harassment from flocks of American Crows. Crows congregate from long distances to mob owls, and may continue yelling at them for hours. The enmity of the crows is well earned, however, as the owl is probably the most important predator on adult crows and nestlings.
  • Even though the female Great Horned Owl is larger than her mate, the male has a deeper voice. Pairs often call together, with audible differences in pitch.

All three of the sites above have cool photos and owl calls and you might also enjoy this video of a great horned owl being harassed by crows in Mt. Clemens.

Check this out bigger in Sherri & Dan’s slideshow!

Lots more Michigan birds from Michigan in Pictures!

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