Great Horned Owl
Subspecies differ greatly in size and coloring; the following description, therefore, refers to our local subspecies, virginianus:
- Length: 18-25 inches
- Wingspan: 35-60 inches
- Weight: male average:1318g., female average: 1769 g.
Adult males and females have similar coloring. Upper parts dusky to dark sooty brown, broken by coarse horizontal mottling of various shades of browns; underparts vary from pale brown to tawny with dark brown horizontal barring. The duskier crown and nape are broadly striped, this pattern continuing onto forehead. The face has dull white eyebrows with tawny facial disks outlined in black. Bill, slate black; eyes, bright lemon-yellow. Most importantly, prominent widely spaced, slanted ear tufts and a white throat and bib distinguish this owl from any other large North American owl. The Great Horned Owl also appears thick and bulky, unlike the narrow profile of the Long-eared Owl.
Immature initially covered with white down, later becoming ochraceous or buff with indefinite black barring.
The common call is a soft, low-pitched, dove-like 4-7 note hooting.