Great Horned Owl

Scientific Name: 
Bubo virginianus ( BEW-boh ver-jin-ee-AY-nus)
Bat Habitat Range
Range: 
The great horned owl can be found from the Arctic tree regions in the north to the Straits of Magellan in the south.
Habitat: 
This adaptable bird can be found from wood-lands to city parks.
Size: 
The great horned owl is the third largest owl in North America; wingspan 91-152cm (3’-5’), weight 900-1800g (2-4 lbs.), females are 10 to 20% larger than males.
Lifespan: 
In the wild up to 13 years; in captivity birds have been known to live 29 to 38 years.
Diet: 
Three quarters of a great horned owl’s prey consists of small mammals such as rabbits, mice, voles, squirrels, woodchucks, and skunks, but may also take birds, insects, amphibians and crabs.
Reproduction: 
Courtship begins in January and February; eggs are laid by March. Great horned owls take advantage of stick nests made by other birds, old squirrel nests, hollow trees, or cliff cavities. Both male and female will incubate the eggs. Great horned owls are very protective parents and are very aggressive to outsiders when young are in the nest. Though solitary in nature, the adults tend to remain near their breeding area year-round and come together to mate during the nesting season; territories are maintained by the same pair for many years.
Description: 
The great horned owl's voice is similar to that of the other large eagle owls, a booming, "Whoo, whoo whoo, whooo, wooo-whooo..." that can be heard over a great distance. They have a large repertory of other sounds as well. The great horned owl controls harmful rat and mice populations throughout the United States.
Conservation Status: 
Common across its range. Although federal statutes prohibit shooting or harassing any owl, the birds are still persecuted by some for their predation of game birds and poultry. It is illegal to capture or kill an owl; it is also illegal to possess an owl, living or dead, without the proper permits from state governments, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
At OBC: 
Autumn (female) and Skye (male) came to OBC from the Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids. Both suffer partial paralysis as a result of West Nile Virus.

Printable Information: 
© 2012 Organization for Bat Conservation
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