The Great Horned Owl

Topics: Owls, Great Horned Owl, Bird Pages: 3 (1223 words) Published: September 28, 2005
The Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl comes from the Strigidae family. Its scientific name is Bubo Virginianus. Bubo comes from the Latin word meaning "owl" or from the Greek word for "eagle owl" used by the 1st Century Roman naturalist Pliny (Gaius Plinius Secundus). Virginianus, meaning "of Virginia" is where the first specimen of Great Horned Owls was collected. Some other names for the Great Horned Owl are; Grand-duc d'Amerique, in French, and in Spanish is Busho cornudo. The common name "horned owl" comes from the large ear tufts. It is a solitary creature that likes to inhabit unsettled places. It is the fiercest and most powerful of the owls.

Great Horned Owls have a very large range. They are all over the United States and most of Canada, and southward to Central and South America to the Straits of Magellan. For their summer range, they resident across North America from northern Alaska and Canada through Mexico and Nicaragua and also in South America to Tierra del Fuego. They are found in dense woodlands of hard woods and conifers, along cliffs and rocky canyons, desert canyons, and in forest openings. They can even be found in wooded city parks, in caves, or on the ground. They prefer open areas to dense woodlands. The owls that live in the far north move southward in fall or winter.

The Great Horned Owl is best known for the large tufts feathers on its ears. It is sometimes called the cat owl because of its cat like ears, eyes, shape of head and appearance when huddled up in a nest. It has an orange facial disk outlined in black. The upper parts of the owl's body are brown with gray-brown mottling, and it's dark under parts make it's throat standout. The patch of white feathers on the brown chest is called a "gular". It's big and bulky and weighs 3-4 pounds. The great horned owl measures 18-25 inches in length and has a wingspan of approximately 36-60 inches from tip to tip. The female is larger than the male. They have...
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