Bird

Great Horned Owl

Area: 
From the Arctic to South America
Habitat: 
Mountains, grasslands, conifer forests, deserts, and chapparal
Food: 
Rabbits, skunks, woodchucks, mice, rats, squirrels, ducks, quail, geese, and fish
Size: 
18 to 25 inches long, with a wingspan of 52 to 55 inches
Babies: 
In each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time), females lay 2 to 3 white eggs. The eggs take 28 to 30 days to hatch.
The great horned owl is also known as the tiger owl or cat owl.

The great horned owl gets its name from the tufts of feathers on its head that look like ears. But the owl's ears are really further down on the side of its head, and are just openings in the skull hidden beneath feathers. Its large eyes let it see in almost complete darkness, and if there is no light at all, its excellent hearing help it hunt by sound. Owls are stealth hunters; they can easily sneak up on their preyNoun: An animal that is hunted as food by another animal. Verb: To attempt to take an animal for food. since their fluffy feathers give them almost silent flight. When it finds preyNoun: An animal that is hunted as food by another animal. Verb: To attempt to take an animal for food., it dives and snatches it with its long, sharp talonsThe claws of a bird of prey.. Great horned owls are very strong and can carry animals several times heavier than themselves!

 

Like other owls, these birds have an incredible digestive system. They sometimes swallow their preyNoun: An animal that is hunted as food by another animal. Verb: To attempt to take an animal for food. whole and later regurgitateTo bring up food that is partly digested. Many bird species feed their young with food they have swallowed and then regurgitated. The regurgitated food is easier for the chick to swallow than whole food would be. pellets packed with the bones, fur, and other unwanted parts of their meal. Because these owls are nocturnalAwake and active during the night, asleep during the day., they can be difficult to spot. But listen carefully after sunset, or just before dawn, and you might be able to hear them calling "whoo-hoo."

 

Great horned owls nest in tree holes, stumps, caves, or in nests left behind by other large birds. Both the male and female incubateThe process of keeping eggs warm in order to hatch them. the eggs, and the male also hunts for food. Owls are powerful birds and fiercely protective parents; they have even been known to attack humans who wander too close to their young.