By Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren (Great Horned Owl) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren (Great Horned Owl) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

Range
A resident species in Virginia. Found throughout North America.

Size
Length          18-25 inches
Wingspan     40-57 inches
Weight          32-88 ounces

Habitat
Remarkably adaptable. Wide variety of environments from deep forests, desert cliffs, and woodlots to suburban estates and parks.

Diet
Amazingly varied, but with a preference for rabbits, rats and mice. They are one of the few predators of skunks.

Characteristics
Heaviest and most powerful American owl. This owl knows no fear, and if sufficiently provoked will attack anything in its way. In its domain, only the Golden Eagle competes for the title of top avian predator. Hated by crows, who will "mob" Great Horned Owls on sight. Nests in old nests of hawks, herons, eagles or crows, ledges in cliffs and large cavities in trees. Call is a series of deep hoots, in a variety of arrangements. Shows aggression by bill snapping or loud hissing; has a variety of other calls.


Meet RCV's resident education Great Horned Owls - Zeus and Xena!