Common Bird Species of Northwestern Ontario





Bubo virginianus
Great Horned Owl


Distinguishing Features - One of the largest of Canadian owls. Overall colouration brown with white and blackish highlights. Chest; lighter. Large, yellow eyes ringed in brownish-orange. Beak, black. Prominent ear tufts. Female somewhat larger than the male.

Great Horned Owl Size -
Male: 46 - 58.5 cm (19.5 - 23.5 in)
Female: 56 - 63 cm (22.5 - 25.25 in)


In both deciduous and coniferous woodlands.


In a tree. Will usually occupy an abandoned nest of another large bird. Eggs, 2 or 3; white Incubation period approx. 30 days.


The Great Horned Owl is a powerful hunter and feeds on many types of small animals, including rabbits, mice, rats, grouse, ducks, crows and even the odd chicken in a farmyard. It is primarily a nocturnal hunter and retreats deep into the woods during daylight hours to rest.

The Horned Owl's call is a series of Hoo notes, usually three to five in succession.

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