Great horned owl
|Great horned owl|
|Common great horned owl |
B. v. virginianus
|Coastal great horned owl, B. v. saturatus|
Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Delta, British Columbia, Canada
About 12, see text
|Global range (all year) of B. virginianus|
Strix virginiana Gmelin, 1788
This owl is 18 to 25 inches (46-64 cm) long and has a wing span of 52 to 55 inches (1.3-1.4 m); its weight averages about 3 pounds (1.5 kg).
The feathers of the horned owl are gray to brown to buff to black. There is a patch of white feathers on the brown chest (called a "gular"). The eyes are yellow with round black pupils.
The owl is at the top of the food web; it has no major predators. It sometimes eats its prey whole and later regurgitates the bones, fur, and feathers in pellets.