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Great Horned Owl


Great horned owls have a good sense of hearing which helps them to find food and smell danger. Because of the extreme fluffiness of their feathers, great horned owls have an almost silent flight. These owls use their talons to hold their prey that they have caught. A good amount of their prey/diet consists of: mice, rabbits, squirrels, skunks, ducks, and quail. Great horned owls swallow small prey whole and tear apart bigger prey into smaller pieces before eating.

If you are looking for Wisconsin great horned owls, you will generally find them around woodlands, cliffs, canyons, and edges of forests. Great horned owls are mainly active during nighttime. When they are hunting during the night, great horned owls will sneak up on their prey before grabbing them with their talons and taking them home. Great horned owls like to keep to themselves. You will very rarely see one of them during the daytime. Keep your distance if you do come upon a great horned owl! They become very aggressive with little provocation.


Name: Great Horned Owl


Scientific Name: Bubo Virginianus

Measurements: length: 18-25in, wingspan: 52-55in, weight: about 3lbs

Habitat: woodlands, along cliffs and canyons, and at edges of forests

Diet: mice, rabbits, squirrels, skunks, ducks, quail

Behavior: mainly hunt at night, sneak up on prey, nocturnal, generally solitary, most often fly at treetop level,

Reproduction: November or December, male calls and female answers, Offer small amount of food before mating, use nests built by other birds, 1-4 white eggs, 30 day incubation after first egg, sexually mature at 2 years old.

Predators: No natural/major predators except humans and eagles if the owl goes into eagle territory.

Life Expectancy: in the wild: 15-20 years old, in captivity: 25-30 years old.

Extra Facts: largest owl in North America, sometimes called a "cat owl," is at top of food web w/ no major predators.

Part of Wisconsin it generally resides: all over the state year round.


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