Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

COMMON NAME: Great Horned Owl
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Bubo virginianus

DESCRIPTION:
The great horned owl is the second largest owl in California. Their average size is .5 meters in length and a 1.4 meter wingspan. The “horns” of the owl are actually only feather tufts, colored brown with the rest of the body. Great horned owls also have some spotted coloration in darker shades of brown.

LIFE HISTORY:
Mating occurrs in late January or early February. Females will usually lay 2-3 eggs once a year. These eggs will be incubated by both parents. They will hatch in four weeks. Parents are very protective of their young, which will mature and leave the nest after 1-2 months.

ECOLOGY:
Great horned owls can be found across America in valley grasslands. woodlands, chaparral. forests and even city parks.
The owl mainly eats squirrels, jackrabbits, skunks and other small mammals and birds, which they swallow whole and later regurgitate in owl pellets. They have excelent hearing and specially adapted feathers than issipate air flow, fascilitating silent flight. These features aid the great horned owl in its nocturnal hunting as it swoops down to catch its prey with powerful feet and talons.

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