Great Horned Owl

Bubo virginianus
Great Horned Owl thumbnail
Length: 22 in. (56 cm )
Occurring from northern Alaska to Argentina, this huge owl also occupies a wide range of habitats from tundra to subtropical forests. It hunts only at night and relishes mammals, such as skunks, rabbits and squirrels, but it will also eat large birds, fish, frogs, reptiles and scorpions. During the day, it roosts high in a tree and is often quite obvious. This owl nests in abandoned hawk, crow, and raven nests, but it will also use large tree cavities, crevices in cliff faces or almost any other protected site. It frequently enters suburban areas and even well vegetated cities.

The four-digit banding code is GHOW.

Female | Robert Shantz


Cliffs / boulders


Fir forest

Mesquite bosque

Oak-pine woodland

Riparian / River forest


Urban city
Bird Sound Type: Hooting
Sex of Bird: Male
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Bird Sound Type: Hooting
Sex of Bird: Male
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View Citation

You may need to edit author's name to meet the style formats, which are in most cases "Last name, First name."

Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Great Horned Owl
  • Author(s): Dr. Biology
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: July 13, 2017
  • Date accessed: July 15, 2024
  • Link: https://askabiologist.asu.edu/activities/bird/great-horned-owl

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2017, July 13). Great Horned Owl. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved July 15, 2024 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/activities/bird/great-horned-owl

American Psychological Association. For more info, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/

Chicago Manual of Style

Dr. Biology. "Great Horned Owl". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 July, 2017. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/activities/bird/great-horned-owl

MLA 2017 Style

Dr. Biology. "Great Horned Owl". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 Jul 2017. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 15 Jul 2024. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/activities/bird/great-horned-owl

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/
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