Original Fine Art Photography by Donna Kennedy- Texture added for an artistic enhancement...
Great Horned Owl with owlets, Spring in Reno, Nevada
The Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) is easily recognizable because of the feather tufts on its head. These "plumicorns" resemble horns or, to some, catlike ears. They are found throughout North America and much of South America. Aggressive and powerful in its hunting (sometimes known by nicknames such as "tiger owl"), it takes prey as varied as rabbits, hawks, snakes, and even skunks, and will even attack porcupines, often with fatal results for both prey and predator. Most Great Horned Owls are Monogamous and begin nesting very early in the north, the birds nest in tree holes, stumps, caves, or in the abandoned nests of other large birds, they are clueless when it comes to nest building. They hunt mostly at night, sometimes at dusk. Watching from high perch, they swoop down to capture prey in its talons. This owl has extremely good hearing and good vision in low light conditions. In the north in winter, they may store uneaten prey, coming back later to thaw out frozen carcass by "incubating" it.
Great horned owls are largely nocturnal so they can be difficult to spot. But in the dark after sunset, or just before dawn, they can often be heard vocalizing with their well known series of "Hoo H'hoos!" Their deep hoots can also be heard rolling across the forest on mid-winter nights.
The oldest known wild Great Horned Owl was 28 years old, but in captivity they can live even longer. A captive female at the San Francisco Zoo turned 50 in 2012.
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December 3rd, 2019
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