Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. On rare occasions, fish are taken including goldfish Carassius auratus, bluegill Lepomis macrochirus, bullheads Ameiurus ssp. Both young and adult great grey owls, despite their superficially superior size, are apparently hunted with impunity by great horned owls. Journal of Raptor Research. Trophic niche of North American great horned owls. Because fewer of these alternative prey species are available in boreal forest during winter, owls had to emigrate or suffer high mortalities if they stayed. Northern goshawk diets in ponderosa pine forests on the Kaibab Plateau.
AOU Ornithological Monograph, Habitat The great horned owl lives in woodlands, along cliffs and canyons and at the edge of forests. Although typically able to kill skunks without ill effect, five owls were found blind after getting sprayed in their eyes by skunks. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
The Great-horned Owl is the most widely distributed true owl in the Americas. It can found living in the tundra of North America all the way south to Tierra del Fuego, the southern tip of South America. This owl’s adaptability and wide prey base allows it to survive and thrive in just about any type of habitat. From deserts to deciduous forests, from pampas to praries, from tundra to tropical rainforest, and from mangroves to mountains, the Great-horned Owl can be found in all but the most extreme environments. It is even adapted to living in urban areas and can sometimes be found in city parks or campgrounds. It tends to hunt in areas that are more open, while it roosts and nests in more forested habitats. This large owl is mottled with a multitude of colors from grey to black and brown to beige and white. It has bright yellow eyes and feathery ear tufts, which give it its name. It has large powerful feathered feet which it uses to take down prey often times much larger than itself. The adult Great-horned Owl can be quite vocal, with a deep, but loud “hoo-hoo-hoo hoo hoo. Like many raptors, these owls are top predators — they hunt other animals for food but no animals hunt them on a regular basis. For most top predators, their only threat is humans.
The great horned owl is the most common owl of the Americas, easily recognizable because of the feather tufts on its head. Great horned owls are adaptable birds and live from the Arctic to South America. They are at home in suburbia as well as in woods and farmlands. Northern populations migrate in winter, but most live permanently in more temperate climes. The birds nest in tree holes, stumps, caves, or in the abandoned nests of other large birds. Monogamous pairs have one to five eggs two is typical, both the male and female incubate, and the male also hunts for food. Owls are powerful birds and fiercely protective parents.